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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts, 

ligil Irritate 
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The flattering reception with which the first volume of this 
work, covering the period of the Colonial History of Massa- 
chusetts, was received, has encouraged the continuance of the 
author's labors ; and the present volume, the second of the 
series, covering the period of our Provincial History, is now 
offered to the public. The distinction between the Colonial 
and the Provincial history of Massachusetts is strikingly 
marked. During the former period, a large share of inde- 
pendence was enjoyed by the people, who chose their own 
rulers, and managed their own affairs. Acknowledging their 
dependence on Great Britain for the charter they held and 
for the privileges it secured, they yet claimed exemption from 
the paramount authority of Parliament, and the right to enact 
their own laws and shape their own policy. Hence the pros- 
perity of the country rapidly increased ; commerce was en- 
larged ; industry was fostered ; and the simplicity of manners 
which so generally prevailed threw such attractions around 
the country, and augured so well for its future advancement, 
that the jealousy of the statesmen of England was aroused ; 
and to check the spirit of freedom, which was abroad, was 
urged as the only means by which the people could be kept in 
subjection. Hence the old charter was overthrown ; a new 
charter was granted, and Massachusetts, from a colony, be- 
came a province of England. Under the new charter the 
governor and a number of other officers were appointed by the 
king, and were removable at his pleasure ; a supervision was 
exercised over the legislation of the province and the para- 
mount authority of the crown was asserted. In accepting this 
charter, however, the people of Massachusetts did not relin- 
quish their natural rights, nor did they yield, without opposi- 


tion, to innovations upon the customs which had long been 
established among them. Hence the position of the governors 
was exceedingly embarrassed ; and the contests between them 
and the statesmen of the province, so far from resulting in the 
subjection of the people, tended only to strengthen and develop 
their love of liberty. The provincial history of Massachusetts 
is a record of this development ; and these pages are designed 
to sketch the progress of that struggle, the seeds of which were 
early sown, and which, when matured, led to a rupture between 
the colonies and the crown. The prominent characters who 
fierure in our annals w T ere men of unwavering fidelitv and 
courage ; and it was owing to their earnest and persevering 
efforts, that the tide of oppression was successfully stayed, and 
the liberties of the people were eventually secured. 

All who are acquainted with the difficulties attending the 
preparation of a work like the present, will readily excuse any 
trifling inaccuracies, of style or of statement, which may be 
discovered in its perusal. Such inaccuracies can never be 
wholly avoided ; and the wide range of subjects brought 
under discussion, and the perplexities attending the adjustment 
of rival claims and discrepant authorities, preclude the hope 
that in all cases the conclusion to which the author has arrived 
will meet the entire concurrence 01 his readers. Candid crit- 
icism, however, will never be deprecated ; and should mistakes 
be discovered, no one more cheerfully than the author will 
acknowledge his indebtedness to those who shall be the means 
of pointing them out. 

The thanks of the author are tendered to those gentlemen 
who have so kindly encouraged his labors, and to the societies 
which have afforded him access to their historical treasures. 
To enumerate these gentlemen, and to specify these societies, 
would only be to repeat the names given in the first volume. 
In the hope that the present volume will meet with as favora- 
ble a reception as the former, and will prove as acceptable to 
the people of Massachusetts and to their descendants, it is 
sent forth on its mission with the diffidence and hesitancy 
wdiich must ever be felt by one who assumes to write for the 
benefit of others, and who is conscious of the responsibility 
attaching to such a position. 




The Province of the Massachusetts Bay — Progress of Plymouth — Progress 
of Massachusetts — Trade and Manufactures — Slavery in Massachusetts — 
Population and Commerce — Interests of Education — Character of the First 
Settlers — Spirit of Puritanism — Political Progress — Charter of Charles I. 
— The Provincial Charter — Condition of Parties — Morality of the People — 
Intellectual Culture — Habits of the People, pp. 1-24. 



Prevalence of the Belief in Witchcraft — Witchcraft in the Dark Ages — 
Witchcraft in England — Witchcraft in Massachusetts — Outbreak at Salem 
Village — Increase of the Bewitched — The responsible Parties — Progress 
of the Delusion — The Phenomena exhibited — Course of the Magistrates — 
Number of Victims — The Storm at its Height — Cotton Mather hesitates — 
The Spell broken — Remonstrance from Andover — Subsidence of the Excite- 
ment — Evils of the Delusion, pp. 25-44. 



Acts rejected by the King — Acts approved by the King — Observance of 
the Sabbath — Educational Laws — Churches of the Province — Members of 
the new Government — Sir William Phips — His Administration — His Re- 
call — Change in the House of Representatives — Administration of William 
Stoughton — Character of Stoughton — Character of Dudley — The Earl of 
Bellamont — His Administration — Board of Trade established — Lord Bel- 



lamont in Massachusetts — His Death — Appointment of Joseph Dudley — 
His Administration — Attempt to supplant the Governor — Its Failure — 
Changes in the Ministry — Close of Dudley's Administration — His Death. 
pp. 45-73. 



Rivalry of England and France — Commencement of Difficulties — Attack 
upon Port Royal — The Canada Expedition — Return of the Fleet — Depre- 
dations of the Indians — Second Expedition to Canada — Proceedings of the 
French — Projected Invasion of New England — The Peace of Ryswick — At- 
tack upon Deerfield — Attack upon Haverhill — New Expedition to Canada 
- — Its Failure — Port Royal besieged — Projects of Nicholson — Arrival of 
Admiral Walker — Difficulties encountered — Failure of the Expedition, pp. 



Arrival of Shute — Commerce of Massachusetts — Complaints against the 
Province — Dispute with Mr. Bridger — Restriction of Manufactures — Em- 
barrassment of the Finances — Conduct of the Governor — The Small Pox in 
Boston — Contest with the Governor — Difficulties with the Indians — Depart- 
ure of Governor Shute — Complaints against the Province — Lovewell's Fight 
— Decision of the Lords of Trade — Arrival of Governor Burnet — His Admin- 
istration — Agents sent to England — Dispute with Burnet — Appointment of 
Belcher — His Arrival — Renewal of the Controversy — War with Spain — 
The Land Bank Company — Opposition to the Governor — His removal, pp. 



Appointment of Shirley — The Great Awakening — Character of the Con- 
troversy — Advent of Whitefield — Difficulties with France — Expedition to 
Louisburg — Troops for the Siege — Their Departure — Scheme of Shirley — 
Description of Louisburg — Cape Breton — Landing of the Troops — Siege 
of Louisburg — Movements of Pepperrell — Progress of the Siege — Surren- 
der of the Fortress — The Victory celebrated — Government of the Island — 
Projected Invasion of Canada — Reverses of the French Fleet — Re-cession 


of Louisburg — Impressment of Seamen — Disturbance occasioned by this Act 
— Its Settlement — Projected Establishment of Episcopacy — Progress of the 
Province, pp. 135-165. 


THE FRENCH WAR. 1753-1756. 

Encroachments of the French — Commissioners appointed — Settlement of 
Halifax — Character of Shirley — Movements of the French — The French Col- 
onies — The English Colonies — Commencement of Hostilities — Washington 
at Fort Necessity — A Congress called — It meets at Albany — Plan of Union 
— Correspondence between Shirley and Franklin — Expedition to the East- 
ward — Projects for the War — Arrival of Braddock — Expedition of Brad- 
dock — Shirley's Expedition — Expedition to Oswego — Expedition to Crown 
Point — Sir William Johnson — Preparations for this Expedition — Move- 
ments of the Troops — Dieskau sent to America — Battle of Lake George — 
Defeat of Dieskau — Expedition to Nova Scotia — Movements of Winslow — 
Character of the Acadians — Removal of the Acadians. pp. 166-204. 


THE FRENCH WAR. 1756-1763. 

Position of the Forces — Conference at New York — Plans of Shirley — 
Proceedings in Massachusetts — Proceedings of Parliament — Recall of Shir- 
ley — Difficulties in the Army — Affairs at Oswego — Fall of Oswego — 
Change in the Ministry — Military Council in Boston — Pownall appointed 
Governor — Movements at the Westward — Fort William Henry attacked — 
The Louisburg Expedition — Capture of Fort William Henry — Situation of 
the Provinces — Accession of Pitt — Loudoun recalled — Army Reforms — 
Capture of Louisburg — Reduction of Fort Du Quesne — The Crown Point 
Expedition — Its Failure — Plans for the ensuing Campaign — Siege of Fort 
Niagara — Expedition to Crown Point — Attempt on Quebec — The Siege — 
Capture of Quebec — End of the War. pp. 205-239. 



Contests with the Crown — Restriction of Commerce — The Board of Trade 

- Character of the Provincial Governors — Shirley supports the Prerogative 

- Bill for strengthening the Prerogative — Complaint of the West India Sugar 


Planters — Extent of the Rum Traffic — The Excise Laws — Restriction 
of Manufactures — A Stamp Tax proposed — Accession of Pitt — Massachu- 
setts imposes a Stamp Tax — Bernard appointed Governor — The Work of 
Abuse — Character of Hutchinson — Character of Otis — Accession of George 
III. — The News reaches Boston — Views of the People — Trial of the Revenue 
Officers — Speech of Thacher — Speech of Otis — Change in the Ministry — 
Opposition to the Governor — Otis's Speech at the Close of the War — Loyalty 
of the Colonists, pp. 240-270. 



Statistics of the Province — Domestic Industry — Intellectual Progress — 
Facilities of Communication — Revival of the Project to tax America — Towns- 
hend's Scheme — Change in the Ministry — Advice of the Lords of Trade — 
The Stamp Tax proposed — The Stamp Act passed — Action of the General 
Court — A new Agent chosen — Renewal of Grenville's Scheme — Policy of 
Grenville — Duties on Molasses and Sugar — The News reaches America — 
Action of the Court — Opposition of Bernard and Hutchinson — Address to 
the House of Commons — Action of Parliament — The fifty-five Resolutions 
— The Stamp Act passed — Mutiny Bill — Resistance to the Stamp Act — 
Oliver hung in Effigy — Proclamation of the Governor — Hutchinson's House 
attacked — Change in the Ministry — Message of Bernard — Views of John 
Adams — Congress at New York — Course of the Ministry — The first of No- 
vember — Proceedings of the General Court — Repeal of the Stamp Act pro- 
posed — Debates in Parliament — Speech of Pitt — Speech of Grenville — 
Reply of Pitt — Examination of Franklin — Debate on the Repeal — The 
Stamp Act repealed, pp. 271-319. 



Celebration of the Repeal of the Stamp Act — Annual Election — Rejection 
of Councillors — Changes in the Ministry — Pitt created Earl of Chatham — 
Views of the King — Bernard against the Charter — Requisitions of the Min- 
istry — Laws of Trade — Changes in England — Course of Townshend — De- 
feat of the Ministry — Course of Shelburne — Course of the French Minister 

— The Revenue Bill — Course of Hutchinson — Effects of the new Measures 

— Reception of the NeAvs in Boston — Course of the Merchants of Boston — 
Last Change in the Ministry — A Pension settled on Hutchinson — Proceedings 
of the House — Complaints of the Commissioners — Disputes with the Gov- 
ernor — The eighteenth of March — A new Parliament called — The Massa- 


chusetts Circular denounced — Bernard corresponds with Hillsborough — Im- 
pressment of Seamen — Seizure of the Liberty — A Town Meeting called — 
Address to the Governor — Course of the Citizens of Boston — Instructions 
ftom Hillsborough — Massachusetts refuses to rescind — Predictions of Pow- 
nall — Complaint of Hallowell — Meeting of the Cabinet — Debates in Par- 
liament — The Spirit of Freedom — A Town Meeting called — Their Proceed- 
ings condemned by Royalists — A Convention called — Its Session — Its Dis- 
solution — Arrival of Troops in Boston — Gage visits Boston — The Troops 
quartered pp. 320-372. 



The State Papers of Massachusetts — Speech of the King — Debates m 
Parliament — Position of Hillsborough — Disturbances in England — Debate 
in the Commons — Project of seizing Cushing and others — Proceedings against 
Otis and Samuel Adams — Despatches from England — A new Legislature 
convened — Debates in Parliament — Speech of Pownall — Opening of the 
Legislature — Rejection of Councillors — Controversy with the Governor — 
Position of the People — Close of Bernard's Administration — Thomas Hutch- 
inson — Letter of Hillsborough — Non-importation Agreement — Celebration 
at Dorchester — Vindication of Boston — Proceedings against Loyalists — 
Meeting of Parliament — Speech of Pitt — Camden's Speech — The Legisla- 
ture prorogued — Refractory Merchants — Murder of Snider — His Funeral 
— The Boston Massacre — Funeral of the Slain — Trial of the Soldiers — 
The responsible Parties, pp. 373-421. 



Debates in Parliament — Speech of Lord North — Speeches of Grenville 
and others — Controversy with Hutchinson — Debates in Parliament — A new 
General Court convened — Message of the House — A Garrison at the Castle 

— Controversy with the Governor — A new Agent chosen — Schemes of the 
Ministry — Spirit of the Women of Massachusetts — Hutchinson appointed 
Governor — Opening of his Administration — Anniversary of the Massacre — 
The Court at Cambridge — Controversy with the Governor — Tax Bill rejected 

— Course of the Patriots — Gushing urges Union — New Session of the Court 

— Changes in the Ministry — Petition for a Town Meeting — A Committee of 
Correspondence proposed — The Foundation of American Union — Report of 
the Committee — Rights of the Colonists — Letter to the Towns — Response 
of the Towns — The Legislature convened — Controversy with the Governor 

— An American Congress urged — The Hutchinson Letters, pp. 422-463. 





Views of Dartmouth — The Tea Tax retained — Action of the Province — 
Action of Pennsylvania — Meetings in Boston — The Agents refuse to resign 

— Action of the Towns — Meeting in the Old South — The sixteenth of De- 
cember - — Destruction of the Tea — Meeting of the General Court — Impeach- 
ment of Oliver — The Affairs of America discussed in England — The Boston 
Port Bill — Other Measures of Parliament — Arrival of Gage — Excitement 
in Massachusetts — Arrival of Troops — Discussion in the General Court — 
Relief Meeting in Boston — Preparations for Defence — Position of Gage — 
Comity Conventions called — Movements of Gage — The Neck fortified — 
Proceedings of the Continental Congress — Condition of Boston — The "Women 
of Massachusetts — The Provincial Congress — Proceedings of this Congress 

— Movements of the Loyalists — Opening of the New Year — Disturbance in 
Marshfield — Expedition to Salem — State of Feeling in England — Speech of 
Pitt — Further Debates — North's conciliatory Scheme — Preparations for 
Resistance — Arms secreted — Projected Attack on Concord — Preparations 
for the Expedition — Alarm at Lexington — March of the British Troops — 
The Battle of Lexington — The Battle of Concord — Retreat of the British, 
pp. 464-514. 





The erection of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay chap 
introduced a new era in the history of New England. It was ^^^ 
the second act of the great drama, whose third brought free- 1692. 
dom to a wide-spread republic. Changes in both hemispheres 
had been preceded by a revolution in some respects analogous 
to that which resulted in the independence of America. The 
revolution of 1688, to England and her dependencies, was a 
vindication of the rights of the English people against the 
aggressions of arbitrary power. The revolution of 1776, to 
America, was a vindication of the rights of the American 
people against similar oppression. Principles were at stake 
in both cases — great and momentous principles. But differ- 
ence of circumstances gave to the latter revolution far higher 
consequence than to the former. 

In reviewing the colonial history of Massachusetts, it will 
be perceived that the germs of our national greatness inhered 
in the first settlers ; and the whole of that history is a record 
of their development. The mission of the Pilgrims, and that 
of the Puritans, was by no means an aimless mission. They 
came to these shores for a definite purpose, and shaped their 
course in accordance with that purpose. And it was the 
vol. 11. 1 


chap, noblest purpose which can sway human beings — the enjoy- 
^J^ ment of religious, in connection with civil, freedom ; as large 
1692. a share of both as was attainable, and a share which, if lim- 
ited at first and tainted with errors, increased with the 
enlightenment of the people, and as they became better fitted 
to appreciate its blessings. 

The development of nations is by the law of progression. 
Neither political nor social theories spring into existence 
spontaneously ; nor can they be improvised in a moment, like 
the songs of Italian minstrels. They are the fruit of perspic- 
uous and profound meditation ; the result of the collision of 
mind with mind. Not only is the legislation of a community 
subject to this law, but it is discernible in more vital affairs, 
affecting man's spiritual interests. The world moves on, not 
■ blindly nor by chance, but in accordance with the plans of 
Infinite Wisdom. No " spiked gates and impassable barriers n 
can be reared to arrest its course. And though its whole 
fruitage is mingled and tempered with 

" Light and shade, and ill and good," 

alternating in striking but harmonious vicissitude, yet good 
grows indestructibly, and propagates itself in spite of, and 
even among, the entanglements of evil ; so that none neecT 
despair of the destinies of humanity. 

In looking back to the past, and comparing it with the 
present, the contrast is so great that the sciolist, in his self- 
conceit, is apt to imagine there was nothing good in the olden 
times ; and the whole fabric of society, its forms of faith, its 
manners and customs, and every thing which gave to it a dis- 
tinctive character, are to him of little moment. He forgets 
that what is valued to-day may be lightly esteemed to-morrow, 
and that the superior enlightenment of the nineteenth century 
may be but as a rushlight to the twentieth or the thirtieth 
century. It is as absurd to underrate the past as it is foolish 
to overrate the present. The past is the parent of the pres- 


ent, as the present is of the future ; nor would the present be chap. 
what it is had it not been for the past. Viewed in this light, _J^ 
trivial incidents become important. Truth has been constantly 1692. 
working itself clearer, and depositing the evils resulting from 

By the caviller, errors may be pointed out in the history 
of every nation ; nor is individual life exempt from their 
influence. The question is not, therefore, what were the 
errors of the past, but what were its aims. It is by this test 
the reflecting mind metes out its judgments. The men who 
have preceded us in the race are worthy of credit for all they 
accomplished ; and if their achievements appear trifling in 
comparison with our own, or if they are mixed up with the 
evils incident to humanity, it is to be borne in mind that it 
is always a more difficult, as it is a more perilous task, to go 
on the forlorn hope of truth j and it is comparatively easy, 
after the breach has been made, to enter the city and seize its 
possessions. But he who clears the way is entitled to at least 
as much honor as he who follows after. The pioneer must be 
a man of unfaltering courage. 

That much had been effected for the prosperity of Massa- 
chusetts in the less than three fourths of a century which had 
elapsed from the settlement of its territory, will be evident 
from even a cursory glance at the condition of the colonies. 
Plymouth, in the seventy-two years following the landing of 
the Pilgrims, had made good progress in wealth and pop- 1620-92, 
ulation. The colony was divided into three counties, — 
Plymouth, Bristol, and Barnstable, — and contained seventeen 
towns 1 and a population of at least seven thousand souls. 2 
Industry, frugality, and an exemplary integrity were the char- 

1 These were, Plymouth, Scituate, 2 I deduce this from minutes of the 

Duxbury, Barnstable, Sandwich, Yar- population of different towns, as Plym- 

mouth, Taunton, Marshfield, Reho- outh, Scituate, Duxbury, &c. No 

both, Eastham, Bridgewater, Dart- general census had been taken at this 

mouth, Swansey, Middleborough, date. 
Freetown, Rochester, and Falmouth. 


chap, acteristics of her people ; and, however humble their circum- 
^^^, stances or feeble their strength, the noble men who established 
1692. this colony will never cease to be gratefully remembered as 
the fathers of New England and the founders of its glory. 
Massachusetts, in the sixty-six years following the settle- 
1626-92. ment of Salem, had advanced with rapid strides in the ca- 
reer of improvement. The colony was divided into four 
counties, — Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, and Hampshire, 1 — and 
contained fifty-five towns 2 and a population of at least forty 
thousand souls. 3 Boston was the capital ; and this town, 
the largest in New England, contained one thousand build- 
ings and seven thousand persons. 4 Roads radiated in every 
direction from the metropolis to the surrounding villages, 
forming the media of communication with their inhabitants. 
The more distant hamlets were buried in the depths of the pri- 
meval forests, the only paths leading to them being indicated 
by marked trees ; and ragged rocks, piled in heaps, or scattered 
around in commingled confusion, often impeded the progress 
of the wayfarer in reaching those settlements. Yet as many 

, 1 Part of the towns formerly con- 
stituting the county of Old Norfolk 
had been joined to New Hampshire ; 
the rest were comprised in the county 
of Essex. 

2 These were, Salem, Charlestown, 
Boston, Medford, Roxbury, Dorches- 
ter, Watertown, Cambridge, Ipswich, 
Hingham, Weymouth, Dedham, New- 
bury, Concord, Springfield, Lynn, 
North Chelsea, Sudbury, Salisbury, 
Rowley, Braintree, "VVobum, Glouces- 
ter, Haverhill, Wenham, Hull, Man- 
chester, An clover, P*lalden, Marble- 
head, Topsfield, Medfield, Lancaster, 
Billerica, Northampton, Marlborough, 
Milton, Hadley, Chelmsford, Groton, 
Mendon, Amesbury, Beverly, West- 
field, Hatfield, Dunstable, Wrentham, 
Brookfield, Sherburne, Bradford,Deer- 
field, Stow, Worcester, Boxford, and 

3 Josselyn, Voy. p. 183, ed. 1675, 
extravagantly estimates the population 
of New England at "ten hundred 

thousand souls." Randolph, in Hutch. 
Coll. 484, computes the population 
of Massachusetts, Maine, and New 
Hampshire at one hundred and fifty 
thousand, in 1676. Andros, in N. Y. 
Docts. iii. 262, speaks of ten thousand 
freemen in Massachusetts in 1678. 
From official reports, however, made 
to the Board of Trade in 1715, it ap- 
pears that the population of Massa- 
chusetts at that date was but ninety- 
four thousand ; and as the population 
doubled once in twenty-five or thirty 
years, the estimate for 1692 could not 
have exceeded forty or fifty thousand. 
Compare N. Y. Docts. v. 397 ; Gra- 
hame, ii. 92 ; Williamson's Me. ii. 37 j 
Bancroft, ii. 450. 

4 Mather, Magnalia, b. I. Ran- 
dolph computed the number of houses 
in Boston, in 1676, at two thousand. 
Hutch. Coll. 487. For further par- 
ticulars, see Neal's New England,588 ; 
Grahame, i. 292, &c. 


a scene which, at a distance, looks desert and rockbound, un- chap. 
folds itself, when visited, into vales of the rarest beauty, so, w _ v ^ 
nestled among the hills, were embryo villages, now densely 1680. 
populated, which, in the Arcadian simplicity of earlier times, 
presented points of attraction sufficient to allure thither the 
yeomanry of the land, whose diligent toil caused " the wilder- 
ness and the solitary place to be glad for them, and the desert 
to rejoice and blossom as the rose." 

The principal trading towns of the colony were Boston, 
Charlestown, and Salem ; and there was " some little trade 
for country people at Ipswich and Newberry." x The buildings 
in the country — irregular in their shape, and of a rude style 
of architecture, varying in size and in the quality of their 
workmanship — were mostly of timber ; and many of them 
were fortified with strong palisades, as a security from the 
arrows and small shot of the Indians. In Boston, though 
most of the houses were of timber, there were several of brick, 
with " some few of stone, of competent strength and largeness 
sutable to the condition of the owners ; " and three churches 
or meeting houses, in different localities, sufficed for the reli- 
gious accommodation of the people. 2 

Manufactures of linen and woollen cloth, shoes, hats, and a 
few other articles, were nowhere extensively conducted, but 
were principally confined to the family circle, and designed 
for home consumption. The staple commodities were fish and 
peltry, with live stock, provisions, and lumber in its various 
forms. Timber for shipping could be had in abundance, with 
tar, and pitch, and a variety of naval stores. Iron was smelt- 
ed in a few places, " though in noe great quantity ; " the man- 
ufacture of gunpowder had been introduced ; 3 and hemp and 
flax grew well, though " labor was so deare that it could not 
bee made a commodity to send to other parts, but was only 

1 Comp. Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 3 Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 487, 
484. says there were six forges in Massachu- 

2 See Hutch. Col. 487, and Josse- setts in 1676. The powder mill was 
lyn, in 3 M. H. ColL iii. 319. at Dorchester. 


chap, improved by the country people for their own occasions." 1 
^^ Articles imported from England were " of all softs generally 
1680. which that land affords," and amounted in value to forty or 
fifty thousand pounds per annum. 2 The number of English 
merchants within the government, bred to the calling, was 
estimated, in 1680, at only twenty, though there were " near 
as many others that do trade and merchandise more or less." 
Of foreign merchants, at the same date, it is affirmed there 
were none, though a few years later there were certainly 
several. 3 

There were some slaves in the colony, and had been for 
many years ; but " there hath been no company of blacks or 
slaves," it is added, "brought into the country since the 
beginning of this plantation, for the space of fifty yeares ; 
1678. only one small vessell, about two yeares since, after twenty 
months' voyage to Maclagasca, brought hither betwixt forty 
and fifty negros, most women and children, sold here for ten, 
fifteen, and twenty pounds apiece, which stood the merchants 
in neer forty pounds apiece, one with another. Now and 
then, two or three negros are brought hither from Barbados 
and other of his majesties plantations, and sold here for about 
twenty pounds apiece ; so that there may be within our gov- 
ernment about one hundred, or one hundred and twenty ; and 
it may be as many Scots, brought hither and sold for servants 
in the time of the warr with Scotland, and most now married 
and living here ; and about halfe so many Irish, brought 
hither at severall times as servants." Slavery in general, 
however, was so repugnant to the principles of the Puritans 
that it was viewed with abhorrence ; and, fortunately for 
New England, it never reached the dignity of a fixed " insti- 
tution," to be cherished forever. 4 

1 See Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 3 See Dunton's Journal, in 2 M. H. 
494, 495. Coll, ii. 98 et seq. 

2 Such is Bradstreet's estimate ; 4 Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 485, 
that of Randolph is somewhat differ- speaks of two hundred slaves in the 
ent. colony in 1676. The earliest public 


Of the English population the estimates vary. Four or five chap, 
hundred whites are said to have been born yearly, taking one ^^ 
year with another ; and the number of marriages was esti- 1680. 
mated at from two to three hundred per annum. The number 
of births exceeded the number of deaths, except during the 
prevalence of wars and pestilences. 1 The wealth of the peo- 
ple was quite widely distributed. There were rich merchants 
in Boston, 2 but few planters had great estates ■ and he was 
accounted rich among farmers who was worth from ten to 
fifteen hundred pounds. The commerce of the country was 
remarkably extensive. From one to two hundred 3 ships, 
sloops, ketches, and other vessels, belonging to the colony, 
either English or home built, were employed in the carrying 
trade ; and of these, from eight to ten were of a hundred tons 
burden and upwards ; three or four were of two hundred 
tons ; the forty or fifty fishing ketches were of from twenty 
to forty tons ; and six or eight ships, owned in England, 
annually visited Boston to trade with the people. 

Temporary obstructions to trade frequently arose ; and 
these originated from an overstocked market, the depreda- 
tions of pirates, the interruption of the fisheries by the French 
at the eastward, and the double custom paid for sugar, indigo, 
cotton, wool, and tobacco, first at the places from which these 

advertisement of slaves for sale I have Letter, No. 11, the deaths in Boston 

met with is in the Boston News Let- were, in 1701, 146 persons ; in 1702, 

ter for 1704, No. 6; but slaves were 441 persons; and in 1703, 159 per- 

doubtless sold before that time. The sons. 

statistics of slavery in Massachusetts 2 Comp. Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 

do not, at any period of its history, 484, 485, and Josselyn, Voy. 180. 

show that the people at large viewed Also, Bradstreet, in 3 M. H. Coll. viii. 

the institution with favor ; and the in- 337. 

crease of the number of slaves in all 3 Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 496, 

the New England colonies was always says there were 730 vessels owned in 

small in comparison with their increase Massachusetts in 1676. For the es- 

in the colonies at the south. See timate of the General Court in 1665, 

Annals Am. Stat. Ass. vol. i. ; Holmes's see 2 M. H. Coll. vii. 72. See also 

Am. Annals ; Grahame, vol. ii., &c. 3 M. H. Coll. i. 98 ; Frothingham's 

1 I have seen no published esti- Hist. Charlestown ; and Brooks's Hist, 

mates of the deaths in Massachusetts Medford. 
before 1692 : but in the Boston News 


chap, commodities were brought, and again at the places to which 
%m Jf^ they were sent. 1 No rates or duties were imposed in the col- 
1680. ony upon goods exported, 2 which were generally the produce 
of the country, obtained with hard labor, and sold at low 
prices ; and but one penny per pound value was charged 
upon goods imported, 3 which, with a like tax on real and 
personal estate, a capitation tax of twenty pence per head, 4 
and a small excise on wines and other spirituous liquors, pro- 
duced an income of about fifteen hundred pounds per annum 5 
— the sole revenue for the support of the government, the 
salaries of officers, the charges of fortifications, and the main- 
tenance of a garrison at the Castle. During the Indian wars, 
the expenses and taxes were necessarily increased from ten to 
fifteen fold, much to the impoverishment of the country, which 
became burdened with a debt which it required years to 
cancel. 6 

Besides the college at Cambridge, which was in a compara- 
tively flourishing condition, the interests of education were 
fostered in every town ; and each town had its ample church 
and its settled minister, though " some able schollars fit for 
the ministery rather wanted imploiment." For the religious 
instruction of the people, the ministers preached generally 
twice on the Lord's day, besides lecturing in some of the 
larger towns on the week days, and catechized " the children 
and youth of the place as they had oppertunity." The main- 
tenance of the ministers in Boston was by voluntary contribu- 
tion ; in the rest of the towns their salaries were raised by a 
yearly assessment upon all the inhabitants, " the severali courts 

1 Comp. 3 M. H. Coll. i. 98. num ; but, as Hutchinson well ob- 

2 Except horses, on which a duty serves, " he has put one cypher more 
of sixpence each was charged. Hutch, than he should have clone. The an- 
Coll. 497. nual charges never amounted to 

3 For a table of customs, given by £2000 until the Indian wars." 
Randolph, see Hutch. Coll. 497. 6 Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 498, 

4 Comp. Hutch. Coll. 496. estimates this debt at £50,000 ; Brad- 

5 Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 498, street at " above £40,000." 
Bets the revenue at £20,000 per an- 


takeing speciall care that all ministers have comfortable main- chap. 
tenance allowed them, according to the poor ability of the ^J^ 
place and people." 1 " We have no beggars," concludes the i680. 
narrative from which most of the foregoing facts have been 
gleaned, " and few idle vagabonds, except now and then some 
Quakers from Road Island, &c, that much molest us, and 
endanger the seducing of the people where they come. And 
all townes are enjoined by law to take care of and provide 
for all the poor, decayed, and impotent persons within their 
respective limits, which accordingly they doe." 2 

This picture of the colony in 1680 is of course imperfect as 
applied to its condition in 1692. There had been some growth 1692. 
in that period, and some important changes. Yet, as a whole, 
it is a valuable sketch, emanating from the chief magistrate 
of Massachusetts, and one who, for more than sixty years, 
participated in its movements and promoted its prosperity. 3 
With the imperfect data furnished by scattered and often con- 
flicting documents, it is obviously difficult to reproduce exactly 
the condition of the colonies at the time their territory was 
merged into one ; but the little that is known of that condition 
is sufficient to impress us with a profound conviction of the 
eminent worth of the men to whom the destinies of the country 
had been confided, and of the value of their services in devel- 
oping its resources and strengthening the basis upon which 
their commonwealth was built. In their connection with the 
mother country, every where a strait bond of obedience in- 
flexibly held them down ; their yearnings for freedom were 
rigidly restrained j and many and desperate had been their 
struggles with the Stuarts. Yet it is with colonies as with 
trees ; the winds which shake serve rather to strengthen their 
hold upon the soil than to uproot or prostrate them, and 

1 Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 501 ; who died at Salem, in 1697, at the 

Josselyn, Voy. 180 ; 3 M. H. Coll. iii. advanced age of 94. See Felt's Hist. 

331. Salem; Allen's and Eliot's Biog. 

* 3 M. H. Coll. viii. 332-340. Diet's ; N. E. Hist. Gen. Keg. j 

8 The venerable Simon Bradstreet, Drake's Boston, &c. 


chap, furnish the exercise which develops their powers, giving to 

^^J^ them an increase of vitality and beauty. 
1692. That is certainly an amiable weakness, if weakness it may 
be called, which looks at the past with a slight degree of 
enthusiasm ; and such weakness may be excused in the histo- 
rian, if it does not degenerate into indiscriminate eulogy. 
Especially is it excusable in considering the history of Massa- 
chusetts ; for much as the Puritans have been decried as illib- 
eral fanatics, there were traits in their character of inestima- 
Ible worth. In tracing their career, it is too often forgotten 
that it is necessary to have some toleration for the infirmities 
/of men whose very excesses sprang from profound reverence 
for God and his word. With the Puritan, religion was a 
matter of conscience between himself and his God. With a 
sincere conviction of the truth of Christianity, and an earnest 
desire to conform to its requirements in the minutest partic- 
ular, he held it to be his duty, and the duty of all, to be 
guided by the Scriptures. Life was to be pervaded with the 
spirit of piety. There was to be an entire consecration of 
its aims to God. Every thing which weakened the sense of 
dependence on him was to be scrupulously avoided. Men 
were to walk with God. The flesh and its lusts were to be 
subdued and crucified : the body was to be a temple meet for 
His dwelling. Nothing was innocent which led to forgetful- 
ness of Him : nothing was irksome which would purchase His 
favor. Religion, with the Puritan, was the Alpha and the 
Omega ; the beginning and the end. His faith, it is true, was 
cast in the sternest mould. It enthroned God as the Sovereign 
of the universe, and made man as clay in the hands of the 
potter. To ridicule this creed is to ridicule cherished convic- 
tions of millions. Yet, to do justice to the Puritans, no one 
is required to indorse all their doctrines. Their integrity, 
their piety, their earnestness, will ever be honored, and every 
thing else which gave to their characters manliness and vigor. 
It would be singular if they exhausted the fountain of truth : 


it would be singular if we had sounded its utmost depths, chap 
Honesty of conviction and sincerity of purpose are cheerfully j^^ 
conceded to them, and a piety as fervent as ever existed, j 1692. 
They lived in an age of general intolerance, an age of intense 
and violent excitement. They lived, too, at a time when 
political theories were imperfectly defined, and when monarchs 
were grudgingly conceding as privileges what the people 
afterwards understood to be their own, independent of the 
favor of royalty. And much that has been condemned, and 
which it is found difficult to excuse, in their conduct, sprang 
from this source. As we would be judged by our descend 
ants, so should we judge our ancestors. » 

It is an unfounded charge, however, that the first settlers i 
of New England were universally bigoted ; for many might I 
be named, both in Plymouth and in Massachusetts, who were 
worthy disciples of the principles of the reformation, and who 
carried those principles to as high a degree of theoretic per- 
fection as could have then been expected. And it is, perhaps, 
true, that the right of exercising private judgment in matters 
of religion was, in terms at least, more generally recognized 
than many suppose. It is scarcely possible, indeed, to main- 
tain more expressly, as a fundamental principle, the right of 
every man to think for himself and judge for himself than 
did some of the most approved leaders of the colonies. 1 
True, the gods of Olympus reigned paramount in the Pan- 
theon, and heresy was accounted the greatest of all sins. It 
was hardly realized that no great harm could result from 
allowing theological speculation to have free course, and to 
look fearlessly towards all the thirty-two points of the com- 
pass, whithersoever it listed. Hence dissent was denounced 
as a direful evil ; and if our ancestors were reluctant to con- 
cede to others the rights which they claimed for themselves, 
it was because of their conviction of the truth of their own 

1 Quincy's Hist. H. ColL i. 49, 50. 


chap, opinions, and the conceived impossibility of holding different 

L opinions without overthrowing as well the pillars of their po- 

1692. litical fabric as the fundamentals of Christian faith, and denying 

doctrines which had been cherished for centuries as soimd and 

evangelical, and for which the fathers of the church and the 

early reformers had alike zealously contended. 

As society advances, however, it carries men onward in the 
path of progression ; and doctrines once cherished as sacred 
and venerable give place to new systems, answering to the 
higher demands of our spiritual nature. The light which at 
first fitfully gleamed upon a few souls, increases in brilliancy 
and penetrates other souls, until at last its effulgence, like that 
of the sun in its meridian splendor, warms and invigorates the 
whole mass of humanity. The creed of the nineteenth century 
{ is not the creed of the seventeenth century, nor is Puritanism 
I in our days what it was in the days of Wilson and Norton. 

It is with the political progress of nations, however, that his- 
tory principally deals. Yet it should never be forgotten that, 
in all communities, the religious element enters largely into the 
constitution of civil society, and that the institutions of a coun- 
try are more or less moulded by the faith of the people upon 
those subjects which relate to the highest interests of man. 
Especially is this true of New England, for its foundations were 
religiously laid. 1 Spiritual forces have predominated here, and 
above all other forces have they shaped our destiny. The con- 
troversies which have arisen have not been mere sectarian 
wranglings, fields for the display of theological gladiatorship ; 

1 To some, it may seem the height so much by the numbers which es- 

of folly to assert that the foundations pouse it, as by the spirit of its lead- 

of New England were religiously laid ; ers ; and few will dispute that Car- 

for, of the hundred passengers of the ver, and Bradford, and Winslow, and 

Mayflower, at least half were women Brewster were religious men, and 

and children ; and the other half was came to these shores for religion's 

composed of adventurers and servants, sake. These were the fathers of 

as well as of members of Mr. Robin- New England. They gave life to its 

son's church. But the character of institutions ; and its foundations were 

an enterprise should be judged, not laid by them in reverence to God. 


they are indices of the spiritual activity of the people — an chap. 
activity which, it is hoped, will never degenerate into mere __^ 
latitudinarianism, or cease to exert a healthy and inspiring 1692. 

The connection between the colonial and the provincial his- 
tory of Massachusetts can be fully understood only by an 
acquaintance with the political opinions of the people. Accord- 
ing to the maxims of English jurisprudence, the civil organiza- 
tion of government resembled a living body ; and every indi- 
vidual existing or arising within that body was part of it as a 
whole, actually and indissolubly connected with it. No indi- 
vidual or number of individuals, it was contended, from a dis- 
tinct principle within themselves, or from their own will, could 
emigrate and quit that community so as to separate and fly off 
from the body, and effectually dissolve their connection with 
the same. Besides, the territory upon which the emigrants set- 
tled was claimed by the English crown as a part of its domin- 
ions ; and although a charter was granted them, which permitted 
them to form a separate and distinct community, and establish 
a government having sovereign jurisdiction within its own lim- 
its, yet, being settled on the lands and within the dominions of 
the parent state, it was claimed that they remained " under 
a certain relation of allegiance to the general and supreme 
{murium." True, it was by the consent of the king that this 
emigration was made ; and the emigrants had license from him 
to transport themselves, their children, their servants, and their 
goods, but on the implied condition that their lands were to 
be held of the king, and that they were to remain under the 
protection of, and in subordination to, his sovereign power. 

If these points were conceded, however, as general maxims, 
it was at the same time contended, on the part of the colonists, 
that the circumstances of their emigration were peculiar, and 
such as warranted a construction of these maxims different from 
that which was ordinarily received. They affirmed — and the 


chap, correctness of their position was afterwards admitted ] — that, 
^^ though they went forth under a charter from the king, yet, as 
1692. their community consisted of individuals possessing the rights, 
liberties, and franchises of English subjects, they had a right 
to political liberty, so far as was consistent with a due subordi- 
nation to the parent state ; that they were entitled to have, to 
hold, and to enjoy, within the body of their colony, a free gov- 
ernment, of the like privileges, jurisdictions, and preeminences 
as those of the state from which they emigrated ; that they 
were entitled to the like power of reasoning and will in a sim- 
ilar legislature, and to a like judicature and executive powers 
within the bounds of their corporation, as the government of 
the mother country had within its own realm : in short, that 
the colony, as a politically free being, had a right to all those 
internal powers which were essential to its being as a free 
agent. The power of Parliament to tax them without their 
consent, since they were unrepresented in that body, was gener- 
ally denied ; and the right of trial by jury in all cases was 
inflexibly demanded. 2 

These claims, in their fullest extent, were not, indeed, held 
valid in England ; for Parliament claimed, if it did not exer- 
cise, the right to tax the colonies for the benefit of the mother 
country ; to regulate their commerce ; and to legislate for 
them in a general way to secure their dependence. The con- 
viction, however, is forced upon our minds, that the statesmen 
of England, at this date, had formed no adequate conception 
of the true nature of the relation of the colonies to the crown. 
Not only were cabinets at variance in their views, but the 
advice of eminent jurists was often conflicting. 3 The prev- 
alent opinions, if rigidly applied, would have reduced the colo- 
nists to vassals rather than have placed them on the footing of 

1 Pownal, Admin, of the Br. Col's, 2 Comp. Franklin's Works, iv. 274 ; 
pt. 2, from which the abstract in the Grahame, Colon. Hist. i. 557. 
text is principally drawn. 3 See the acknowledgment of Chal- 

mers, Eevolt, i. 308, 309. 


subjects. Hence the policy of the monarchs was selfish and chap. 
arrogant ; fatal to the interests of the people, and sure to ^J^* 
awaken a spirit of resistance. It was feared that the colonies, 1692. 
if unchecked, would become formidable rivals, and cast off their 
allegiance. It was not perceived that the ties of consanguinity 
were sufficient to bind the children to the parent ; and that 
gratitude was a more powerful motive to obedience than fear. 
It was supposed that the only way to keep the colonies within 
bounds was to cripple them by the arm of physical power. 

But the founders of New England were experienced states- 1 
men ; nor as diplomatists were they inferior to the diplomatists 
of England. The principal men, of the clergy and of the laity, 
possessed disciplined minds, and talents which would have dis- 
tinguished them in any sphere of action. Trained to take 
part in political discussions, and with a sagacity which intui- 
tively penetrated the disguises of despotism, they wrought for 
posterity ; and the cause in which they engaged was emphati- 
cally the cause of freedom and humanity. Not only is America 
indebted to them for the blessings of civil liberty, but the world 
is indebted to them for initiating the work of popular govern- 
ment and universal improvement : the world is indebted to 
them for scattering broadcast the seeds of imperishable politi- 
cal truths, which have been wafted on the wings of every breeze 
to the nations of Europe, to ripen in due time to a harvest of 

The provincial history of Massachusetts is a continuation of 
its colonial history under different circumstances. The charac- 
ter of the people was formed before the new government was 
instituted ; and the spirit of liberty was too widely diffused to 
be easily crushed. The arbitrary reign of the Stuarts was 
over ; the struggle for the recognition of Episcopacy had 
ceased; yet Puritanism was still in. the ascendant, and the 
Puritan principles were as vital as ever. The changes which 
had taken place had not materially affected the views of the 
people. Freedom was the beacon light guiding them on : and 


chap, the desire to enjoy it throbbed high in every heart. Not that 
^J^, absolute independence was sought ; nor could it probably have 
1692. been secured had it been sought. But the motto of all was, all 
freedom consistent with the acknowledged allegiance of sub- 
jects. It was impossible to stifle the conviction which had 
sprung up that freedom is the inalienable birthright of man, 
not to be parted with on any terms whatever. And it was 
impossible to check the tendencies towards republicanism which 
had grown with their growth and strengthened with their 
strength. Time only was needed, with its varied experience, 
to lead them to claim freedom in its highest and broadest form. 
But it is unjust to our fathers to assert that they were insincere 
in their professions of attachment to England ; that the alle- 
giance they acknowledged was not real, but nominal ; and that 
they were studiously and systematically laboring to deceive. 
If ever men were honest in their views, the people of Massa- 
chusetts were honest. Nor was it their fault if, maddened by 
oppression, they felt it to be their duty to assert their natural 
rights, and to demand what was withheld from them by arbi- 
trary power alone. 

The province charter of 1692 differed in many respects from 
the charter of Charles I. The government under the latter 
instrument, after its transfer, was established by the people ; 
and all officers were chosen by the majority of the votes of the 
freemen of the colony, attending at Boston, in person or by 
proxy, without summons, on the last Wednesday in Easter term 
annually. The deputies to the General Court were chosen by 
the freemen of each town. No town could send more than two 
deputies ; towns having but twenty freemen could send but 
one ; and those having less than ten could not send any. 
No person being an attorney was eligible as a deputy ; and 
all persons aspiring to the immunities of citizenship were re- 
quired to be church members, in full communion, and approved 
by the General Court. The legislative power was seated in 
the General Court, from which there was no appeal. This 


court was likewise the supreme judicature of the colony, having chap 
sole power to make laws, raise money, levy taxes, dispose of L 
lands, give and confirm property, impeach, sentence, and pardon 1692. 
criminals, and receive appeals from inferior courts ; and it could 
not be adjourned or dissolved without the consent of the major 
part of its members. 

In ordinary cases the governor and assistants sat apart, and 
transacted business by themselves, drawing up bills and orders, 
which, being agreed upon, were sent to the deputies for assent 
or dissent. The deputies also sat by themselves, consulting 
upon the common good ; and all matters acted upon by them 
were sent to the magistrates for concurrence or nonconcur- 
rence. No law could be made without the consent of the 
major part of the magistrates and the greater number of the 
deputies ; and the governor had a casting vote in all courts 
and assemblies, and could call a General Court, or any other 
court or council, at his pleasure. The executive power was 
lodged in the governor and council, of whom seven constituted 
a quorum, the governor or deputy being one ; but in particular 
emergencies the acts of a less number were valid, so far as 
related to the impressment of soldiers, seamen, ships, ammuni- 
tion, provisions, and all other necessaries for the public defence : 
and warrants could be drawn upon the public treasury for the 
payment of these expenses. Under this charter, with all its 
defects, a high degree of political independence had been en- 
joyed ; and its destruction was feared as the precursor of the 
destruction of all it had secured. 1 

By the terms of the provincial charter, the governor, the 
lieutenant governor, and the secretary, were appointed by the 
king ; and the powers conferred upon the former were supposed 
to be sufficient to counterbalance the republican tendencies of 
the people, and keep them in a state of immediate subjection. 
But if the powers of the people were circumscribed, they were 

1 See Randolph, in Hutch. Coll. 477, 478 ; Hutchinson, ii. 15. 
VOL II. 2 


chap, rot annihilated. A share in the administration of affairs was 
conceded to them ; nor could it have been withheld without 
exciting a spirit of rebellion. Yet no act of the legislature 
was valid without the consent of the governor ; and, as the 
appointment of all military officers was vested in him solely, and 
it was in his power to reject other officers chosen by the people 
or their deputies, his influence upon the affairs of the province 
was great, and might be so wielded as to repress the soarings 
of the spirit of freedom, and favor the designs entertained by 
his employers. All laws passed in the province were subjected 
to revision by the king, and to rejection at his pleasure ; and 
appeals were allowed in personal actions where the matter in 
dispute exceeded in value the sum of three hundred pounds. 
Liberty of conscience was assured to all but Papists ; and wor- 
ship in the Episcopal form was placed on the same footing as 
worship in the Congregational form. Church membership 
was no longer to be the qualification for citizenship ; but 
all persons of a certain estate were entitled to its immunities, 
and were eligible to office. In some respects the new charter 
was preferable to the old ; in others it was but its shadow. As 
a whole, it has been doubted whether its defects were not as 
great as the defects of the former instrument. Certain it is 
that, from the powers it reserved to the king, and the extent 
of his prerogative, many reluctantly consented to its acceptance, 
and trembled for the consequences of its adoption to the coun- 
try. Yet it was the supreme law of the land, and continued 
such, with but slight alterations, until the nation threw off the 
yoke of bondage, and asserted its title to freedom and self- 
government. 1 

The circumstances of the country, at the date of the arrival 
of this charter, have been already partially described. The 
old institutions, which had grown up under the colonial char- 

1 Mather, Magnalia, b. ii., Life of 4, 5, ed. 1721 ; Minot, i. 57. 
Phips, § 14 ; Dummer's Defence, pp. 


ter, jet existed, or were but imperfectly eradicated. The laws chap. 
of the country had undergone but little alteration. The ten- ^J^^ 
ures of lands were substantially such as prevailed when the 1692. 
Body of Liberties was framed. And though a new church and 
a new ritual had been admitted, which were to be fostered from 
abroad, the old churches were still in the ascendant, and the 
old ministers had lost little of their influence. In political 
affairs, no servile doctrines were eagerly avowed, contrary to 
the maxims which had long prevailed ; and few were in haste 
to signalize their loyalty by the basest ingratitude, insolence, 
and treachery. Differences of opinion, indeed, had arisen ; and 
there were two parties in the land — the party of freedom, and 
the party of prerogative : the former exceedingly jealous of all 
encroachments from the mother county • the latter inclining 
to yield to her demands rather than by resistance to arouse her 
anger, and, without doubt, honestly of opinion that a partial 
compliance would be for the interest of the country, by com- 
mending it to the royal favor, and averting the consequences 
of discord and confusion. Patriotism, if ever pure, is pure in 
the hour of trial and discipline. Its senses are quickened by 
the consciousness of danger. It scents from afar the approach 
of tyranny, and prepares for the contest with firmness and 
courage. There was much of such patriotism in the fathers of 
New England. Unquestionably there were some who were 
sordid and selfish ; incapable of true friendship ; sensual, frivo- 
lous, false, and cold-hearted ; hurried on by the promptings of 
a lawless ambition. Such possess few qualities which command 
the esteem of the world ; few which entitle them to be named 
with respect. Yet the number in Massachusetts who would 
rank in this category was exceedingly small. The temper of 
the times was ill suited to their growth. 

The people of New England were emphatically a moral peo- 
ple. If the legislation of a community indicates the evils which 
prevail in its borders, it at the same time indicates the standard 
of public opinion. Mistakes have been committed in all ages, 


chap, perhaps, in legislating for the suppression of vice, and too much 
^J^_, stress has been laid upon penal enactments. But over legisla- 
1692. tion is better than none ; for vice, if unchecked, grows like 
weeds. The precise point beyond which restraint ceases to be 
salutary, it may be difficult to determine ; but it is better to 
suffer the inconvenience of imperfect laws, than to tolerate 
practices subversive of the best interests of all classes of society. 
It is no impeachment, therefore, of the wisdom of our ancestors, 
if, in some things, they went farther than would be approved at 

;[the present day. Their motives were good, if their policy was 
'■defective. But for their policy they found precedents in the 
writings of the Old Testament ; and their earnestness to pro- 
mote the welfare of the community is an evidence of their 
■recognition of the claims of practical religion. I know not 
[where else in the world to look for nobler specimens of unbend- 

Hing integrity than among the early settlers of New England. 
All who have written intelligently of those days have concurred 
in awarding them a high share of praise. Stern they may have 
been, and rigid to a fault ; but better that than the laxity which 
confounds all moral distinctions, and looks with indifference 
upon the decay of substantial virtue, or views unmoved the 
inroads of licentiousness, profligacy, and crime. 

Some may sneer at laws regulating the use of intoxicating 
drinks, punishing incontinency, prohibiting the taking of tobacco 
in the highway, kissing on the Sabbath, and other the like civil 
regulations. Candid minds see in such things evidence of the 
scrupulousness of the age ; and if such legislation proved inef- 
ficient, it was because human passions are not always suscepti- 

" ble of outward control. The Puritan may have erred in the 
excess of his zeal against what he esteemed the sinful customs 
of the established church ; and he may have condemned too 
severely indulgence in those amusements which the spirit of 
youth naturally craves, and which, within rational bounds, can 

II never be deemed criminal. But it was his desire to build up a 
strong character — strong in the elements of a rigid morality. 


To the accomplishment of this object he bent all his energies ; chap 
and hence he prohibited both dancing and drinking, masses and ^^1^„ 
merriment, hunting and hawking, starched ruffs and stiff petti- 1692. 
coats, and every thing else which betrayed, to his eye, a leaning 
to the world, or the fashions of the world. And, without doubt, 
we owe much to this code of inflexible morals in diffusing 
throughout the New England character a reverence for sacred) f 
things, and the subjection of the passions to the control of reason. 
In point of intellectual culture, the condition of the colonies 
did not admit the classical refinement which distinguished a 
later period. Printing was introduced into Massachusetts in 
1639 ; * yet in 1692 there were but a few presses established, 2 
and not a newspaper was issued until after the opening of the 
eighteenth century. 3 Books were comparatively scarce ; and 
those which were in circulation were mostly of a religious char- 
acter, though the libraries of the clergy and of the wealthy 
laity were many of them respectable in size and varied in con- 
tents. The versification of the age was exceedingly rude. The 
poems of Mrs. Anne Bradstreet constitute the principal exception 
to this remark. 4 We shall look in vain, among the specimens 
which have descended to us from Governor Bradford, Secretary 
Morton, Edward Johnson, and John Norton, for pieces equal- 
ling in merit those of Milton and Dry den. Anagrams, halting, 
limping, and pointless ; epitaphs, ponderous, stiff, and leaden- 
winged, were the ordinary evidences of the existence of the 
" divine passion." Of few could it be said, — 

1 The first press was at Cambridge, News Letter, issued in 1704 ; the sec- 

and was brought over by Mr. Glover, ond was the Boston Gazette, printed 

Pierce's Hist. H. Coll. 6; Quincy's in 1719; and the third was the New 

Hist. H. Coll. i. 187, 188 ; Drake's England Courant, printed by James 

Boston, 242, 424. Franklin, in 1721. Curious particu- 

9 I find, before 1692, the names of lars concerning these papers may be 

nine printers in Massachusetts, viz. : seen in Thomas's Hist. Printing, the 

S. Day, S. Green, S. Sewall, Jno. Mass. Hist. Coil's, and Buckingham's 

Foster, Jno. Allen, Benj. Harris, Reminiscences. 

Barth. Green, Jas. Glen, and Marma- 4 Her volume was dedicated to her 

duke Johnson. MS. Notes of S. G. father, Governor Dudley, in a copy of 

Drake, and the Mass. Archives. verses dated March 20, 1642. A third 

3 The first paper was the Boston edition was published in 1758. 



" The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, 
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven ; 
■^92 And, as imagination bodies forth 

The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen 
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing 
A local habitation and a name." x 

It was an age of too much seriousness to admit of an ardent 
devotion to the Muses. The company of the Nine was devoutly 
eschewed. The classics, if not proscribed, were the delight of 
but few. Men who had before them a wilderness to subdue, 
cities to build, and a government to frame, had little leisure to 
devote to the elegances of life ; little time to spend in culti- 
vating the imagination. Their poetry was in action, not in 
words. Yet there is enough in their character to form an epic 
of surpassing power ; and when " the hour and the man n come, 
we shall look for a delineation of their manners as pregnant 
with interest and as extensive in its influence as the legends of 
other days, which have immortalized the deeds of men far less 
earnest, and far less worthy of an undying fame. 

The habits of the people were, for the most part, simple. 
Travelling was principally performed on foot or on horseback, 
the women mounted on pillions behind the men. Stage coaches 
were not introduced until near the close of the seventeenth 
century, and then we hear of but one. 2 Pleasure carriages were 
rarely seen, save in Boston, until towards the middle of the 
eighteenth century. The chaise was introduced at about that 
date. 3 The wagons of the farmers were rude structures, hung 
on thorough braces or bedded on the axles ; and, from the 
roughness of the roads, filled with stumps in many cases, riding 
was far from voluptuously easy, and a trip of a few miles was 

1 Midsummer Nighf s Dream, Act stable ; but one was reported in Bris- 
v. Sc. 1. tol ; and there were 47 in Essex, 50 in 

2 In 1687, Lady Andros rode in a Middlesex, and about 200 in Suffolk. 
coach. Felt's Salem, i. 315 et seq. Felt's Salem, i. 316 ; Ann's Am. Stat. 

3 In 1753, there were no chaises in Ass'n, i. 348-358. 
the counties of Worcester and Barn- 


a sure cure for the dyspepsia. The roads of New England, chap. 
however, were not much worse than those of Old England at ^J^ 
the same date ; for, in some of the best counties, at the opening 1692. 
of the nineteenth century, travellers were subjected to as great, 
if not to greater annoyances than existed in Massachusetts. 1 

Among the wealthy, the luxuries of life were indulged as 
freely, perhaps, as among persons of like standing in the old 
world. Their furniture was of a costly description ; their apparel 
was sumptuous ; their tables groaned with delicacies ; and their 
hospitality was, unbounded. 2 It was contrary, however, to the 
sternness of the Puritan character to countenance or encourage 
extravagant expenditures in living or dress ; and sumptuary 
laws prohibited unnecessary profusion, and attempted to pre- 
scribe the length of the hair and the fashion of the dress. 3 The 
yeomanry, who were the bulk of the people, were hardy, indus- 
trious, temperate, and frugal ; given to hospitality, and enjoying 
the necessaries of life, with a fair share of its luxuries. But 
pleasing as those days seem in comparison with our own, we 
can hardly claim for them a particular preeminence ; and the 
more minutely we examine the annals of the past, the more 
shall we find to satisfy us that the condition of the people, how- 
ever simple, was not such as we should voluntarily choose for 
our own lot. There is a charm which fancy lends to the past, 
and, always, imaginative minds see things painted in colors of 
unsurpassed brilliancy and beauty. And it is not, perhaps, 
unnatural to desire to invest the lot of those who have preceded 
us with some of the rose tints which render it attractive ; but 
could we go back in reality to any anterior age in the history 
of the world, and live in it as it was, we should see enough to 
convince us that 

" Distance lends enchantment to the view," 
and that the past, so far from excelling the present, is as info 

1 See Dibdin's Tour, ed. 1801, 4to, ing the hospitality of the people. See 
vol. i. pp. 46-56. Randolph, Josselyn, Dunton, &c. 

8 AIL travellers concur in commend- 3 Mass. Rec's, in different olaces. 


chap, rior in comparison as the rough block of marble which thfl 
^^_ sculptor is chiselling into the likeness of man, is inferior to the 
1692. statue when finished, in its exquisite symmetry and life-like 

Such were the people whose history is to be traced in these 
pages : a peculiar people, zealous of good works : a people 
descended from the best English stock ; yearning for freedom ; 
far from perfect in their characters ; far from faultless in their 
habits ; yet possessing the germs of a higher development, and 
earnest to advance in the work of reform : men, who, less than 
a century later, made themselves felt as the champions of lib- 
, erty, and whose deeds of heroic valor challenged the admiration 
of statesmen and philosophers. 



No event probably in the whole history of New England has chap. 
furnished grounds for more serious charges affecting the char- ^J^, 
acter of the people than the witchcraft delusion, as it has been 1692. 
commonly termed ; an episode of thrilling and melancholy inter- 
est, impressing the mind with a vivid sense of the evils of su- 
perstition, and the unhappy consequences which flow from that 
morbid excitement of the passion for the marvellous which seems 
to have had its cycles of recurrence from the earliest period 
to the present time. The mind of man is a perplexing mystery, 
which the wisest philosophers have failed to unravel. In its 
normal state it moves forward generally without much ex- 
citement ; and the laws which govern its motions are laws of 
harmony and progressive improvement. But in its abnormal 
conditions, when its balance is disturbed and its functions are 
diseased, it soars aloft upon aerial excursions of the wildest 
description, guided by no chart but that of conjecture, and 
following, without judgment, the blind promptings of an erratic 
fancy, which spurns control, and rises higher and higher in its 
restless flight until, from utter exhaustion, its drooping pinions 
refuse longer to sustain its course, and it swoops down to earth 
again, glad to find rest, like the returning dove, from the 
waves which had swept over its abode in its absence, threat- 
ening to wash away the landmarks of ages. 

Yet even the follies of our race are not without some com- 
pensation ; and the discerning will find that 



" There is some soul of goodness in things evil, 
Would men observingly distil it out." 

1692. The lessons which the world is taught by its errors are often 

of great service ; and it would seem as if temporary fits of 

excitement, like occasional disturbances in the physical world, 

were necessary to purify the atmosphere, and to scatter the 

seeds from which new and more vigorous forms of life may 

spring. All such phenomena are controlled by a Power who 

Ps. 76: has assured us that the wrath of man shall be made to praise 
io. . 

him, and that the remainder of wrath he will restrain. 

From a cursory view of the popular delusions which have 
prevailed, it will be seen that on no subject has the human 
mind been more prone to dwell than upon the influence which 
spiritual agents have been supposed to exert upon beings in the 
flesh. The belief in such influence is as old as the Bible, and 
is often alluded to in the sacred writings. How far such belief 
is founded in truth, every man must judge for himself. Differ- 
ent minds form different conclusions from the same premises ; 
and it would be presumptuous for any one to set up his own 
opinions as infallible. To many, it seems hardly credible that 
such belief should have prevailed so extensively without having 
some foundation ; x nor can it be doubted that phenomena have 
occurred and do occur, for which the wisest and best have been 
and are unable to account. And although it does not necessa- 
rily follow that what cannot be accounted for may be legiti- 
mately ascribed to causes beyond the present sphere, neither 
does it follow that nothing can be ascribed to such causes, 
because such phenomena, when investigated, have been found, 
in most cases, to fall within the province of recondite laws, 
imperfectly defined, which have hitherto eluded the grasp of 
the mind. Profound mystery encircles life on every hand ; and 

1 "It seems to me," says Black- witchcraft, though one cannot give 
stone, Com. b. iv. c. iv., " the most credit to any particular modern in- 
eligible way to conclude, that in gen- stance of it." 
eral there has been such a thins: as 


the world is only in its infancy in knowledge. What the future chap. 
may unfold, it is impossible to say. Time may bring wisdom ^^ 
and increasing light ; and the prudent will suspend judgment 1692. 
until such light appears. Nor can harm result from that cau- 
tious reserve which, while it leaves the mind open to conviction, 
reposes calmly upon the power of truth. Wisdom will ever be 
justified of her children. 

Before sketching the progress of the witchcraft delusion in 
Massachusetts, it may be proper to remark that the belief in 
witchcraft was by no means confined to America, nor was it 
the indigenous growth of the soil of New England. 1 Long 
before the settlement of this country, all nations, civilized and 
uncivilized, gave more or less credence fo marvellous tales of 
ghosts and witches ; and in England, within the bosom of the 
national church, there had not been wanting a high degree of 
credulity relative to the invisible world, and the supposed 
power of demons and departed spirits to visit earth, to terrify 
the timid and torment the helpless. The theories of ancient 
philosophers, developed in the writings of Hesiod, Plato, Aris- 
totle, Pythagoras, and Empedocles, incorporated into the poetry 
of Homer, Virgil, Ovid, and Horace, and adopted, to some 
extent, by the Jewish rabbis, peopled earth and sky with a 
race of demons — beings between the gods and men, and the 
channels or media through which intelligence was communi- 
cated from the one to the other. Clothed with air, wander- 
ing over heaven, hovering over the stars, or abiding in this 
sphere at pleasure, they beheld unveiled the secrets of time, 
attended man from the cradle to the grave, and, according to 
their character, affected his fortunes for good or for ill. The 
agatho dcemons were his good spirits, his wise counsellors, con- 
ducting his soul to the abodes of the blest. The caco dcemons 

1 The Indians, indeed, were sup- from that of more civilized nations, 

posed to be worshippers of the devil, though similar in character and in its 

and then* powwows to be wizards ; but pernicious effects. See T. Morton's 

the form in which witchcraft prevailed N. Eng. Can. ; N. Morton's N. Eng. 

among them was somewhat different Mem. • Hutchinson, ii. 22, &c. 


chap, were his evil spirits, the disturbers of his peace ; horrid phan* 
^^_ toms which had power to annoy by inflicting diseases, convulsing 
1692. the body with frightful spasms, and driving their victims to the 
verge of despair. 1 

The introduction of Christianity did not it once eradicate 
these opinions, for the writings of the fathers abound in allu- 
sions to the doctrine of possessions. In the dark ages, super- 
stition held unlimited sway. Nor at the dawn of the refor- 
mation were the mists which had brooded over the mind 
wholly dispersed. No spell had been found sufficiently potent 
to exorcise the delusions which had seized upon all. "He 
that will needs perswade himself that there are no witches," 
says one, " would as faine be pers waded that there is no devill ; 
and he that can already beleeve that there is no devill, will ere 
long beleeve that there is no God." 2 Hence " every old woman 
with a wrinkled face, a furr'd brow, a hairy lip, a gobber tooth, 
a squint eye, a squeaking voyce, or a scolding tongue, having a 
rugged coate on her back, a skull cap on her head, a spindle in 
her hand, and a dog or cat by her side," was not only " sus- 
pected, but pronounced for a witch." 3 The young and the 
beautiful — the bewitchers of modern times — were rarely ac- 
cused ; but every town or village had its two or three old 
women, who were charged with laming men, killing cattle, and 
destroying children. 4 Nay, even a hare could not suddenly 
spring from a hedge, or an " ugly weasel " run through one's 
yard, or a " fowle great catte " appear in the barn, but it was 
suspected as a witch. 5 " A big or a boyl, a wart or a wen, a 
push or a pile, a scar or a scabbe, an issue or an ulcer," were 

1 For an elaborate sketch of the land," says Addison, Spectator, Xo. 
opinions of the ancients, see Cud- 419, " that had not a ghost in it; the 
worth's Intellectual System of the churchyards were all haunted : every 
Universe. large common had a circle of fairies 

2 Gaule, Cases of Cons, concerning belonging to it ; and there was scarce- 
Witchcraft, p. 1, ed. 1646. lya shepherd to be met with who had 

3 Gaule, pp. 4, 5. Riding through not seen a spirit." 

the air on sticks was another infallible 5 Gifford's Dialogue concerning 
token of witchcraft. Hale, 31. Witches, Lond. 1593. 

* " There was not a village in Eng- 


" palpable witches markes ; " and " every new disease, notable chap 
accident, mirable of nature, rarity of art, and strange work or ^J^ 
just judgment of God," was " accounted for no other but an 1692. 
act or effect of witchcraft." 1 

Hence England, in the seventeenth century, and every other 
nation of Europe, believed in the agency of. evil spirits ; and, 
guided by the statute of Moses, — " Thou shalt not suffer a Ex. 22: 
witch to live," — the penal code of every state recognized the 
existence and the criminality of witchcraft ; persons suspected 
as witches or wizards were frequently tried, condemned, and 
executed ; and the most eminent judges, as Sir Matthew Hale, 
distinguished for his learning as well as for his piety, sided 
with the multitude, and passed the sentence of death upon the 
accused. 2 Commerce with the devil, indeed, was an article 
of faith firmly embedded in the popular belief ; and thousands 
were ready to testify that they had caught glimpses of Satan 
and his allies when 

" Down the glen strange shadows sprang, 
Mortal and fiend, a wizard gang, 
Seen dimly side by side. 
They gathered there from every land 
That sleepeth in the sun ; 
They came with spell and charm in hand, 
Waiting their master's high command — ■ 
Slaves to the evil one." 3 

The earliest trial for witchcraft in Massachusetts occurred in 1648. 
1648, when Margaret Jones was charged with this crime, found 
guilty, and executed. 4 Nor was this an isolated case ; for, 
during a period of forty years, there were similar instances in 
Massachusetts and Connecticut. 5 Under the administration 1688. 

1 Gaule, pp. 5, 6. Hutchinson, i. 141. The year previ- 

2 Hutchinson, ii. 27 ; Grahame, i. ous, there was an execution at Hart- 
274 ; Holmes, Ann. i. 439. ford for witchcraft. Savage, on Win- 

3 Legends of New England. throp, ii. 374. 

4 Mass. Rec's, ii. 242 ; Winthrop, 5 Hale's Modest Inquiry, pp. 16- 
ii. 397; Hubbard, 530; Hale, 16; 21, ed. 1771; Hutchinson, ii. 22-24. 


chap, of Andros, however, a case occurred, which seems to have been 
^J^, the precursor of the delusion which soon after spread so widely. 
1688. A child about thirteen years of age, the daughter of John 
Goodwin, " a grave man and a good liver at the north part of 
Boston," charged a laundress residing in her father's family 
with having stolen some linen. The mother of this laundress, 
" Goody Glover," an illiterate Irish woman, and a Catholic 
withal, repelled the accusation, and gave Goodwin's daughter 
" harsh language,'^ soon after which she fell into fits, which 
were said to have " something diabolical in them." A sister 
and two brothers of the girl, the youngest but five years old, 
"followed her example," and the infection spread until the 
excitement was general. Weird faces and giant goblins haunted 
the imagination of many a little one, as the life blood curdled 
with horror in its veins ; and trembling crones began to 
deliberate upon the propriety of nailing horseshoes to the 
door posts to preserve them from the enchantments of evil 
spirits. The evidences of bewitchment were such as were 
usually adduced. " Sometimes they would be deaf, then dumb, 
then blind ; and sometimes all these disorders together would 
come upon them. Their tongues would be drawn down their 
throats, then pulled out upon their chins. Their jaws, necks, 
shoulders, elbows, and all their joints would appear to be dislo- 
cated, and they would make most piteous outcries of burnings, 
of being cut with knives, beat, &c, and ihe marks of wounds 
were afterwards to be seen." Yet the children " slept comfort- 
ably at night," notwithstanding they were " struck dead " in 
the daytime " at the sight of the Assembly's Catechism, Cot- 
ton's Milk for Babes, and some other good books," though they 
could read fluently enough in " Oxford's Jests, Popish and 
Quaker books, and the Common Prayer." 

The ministers of Boston, Cotton Mather, Willard, Allen, and 
Moody, with Symmes of Charlestown, anxious to investigate 
the case, " kept a day of fasting and prayer at the troubled 
house," and with such success that " the youngest child made 



no more complaints." But the others were not relieved ; upon chap 
which the magistrates interposed ; the woman was apprehended, ^J^ 
examined, and executed ; and an account of the whole affair 1688. 
was published by Cotton Mather, and reprinted in England, 
with a preface by Richard Baxter, who says, " The evidence is 
so convincing that he must be a very obdurate Sadducee who 
will not believe." 1 

It is highly probable, as Hutchinson suggests, that the out- 
break of this delusion in New England was principally caused 
by certain books which had been circulated in England, copies 
of which had reached this country. 9 Superstition is an epi- 
demic easily produced, and its power increases the longer it 
prevails, until it reaches its climax, after which it subsides. 
And the history of the witchcraft delusion in New England 
proves the correctness of this statement. 

It was before the arrival of Sir William Phips that the first 1691-92. 


S} T mptoms of delusion appeared, at which date a daughter and 
a niece of Mr. Parris, formerly a merchant, but then the minis- 
ter of Salem Village, (now North Danvers,) with one or two 
other girls in the neighborhood, beginning to act " in a strange 
and unusual manner," the physicians of the place pronounced 
them bewitched. Mr. Parris, the father of one of the sufferers, 
who is charged as " the beginner and procurer of the sore 
affliction to Salem Village and the whole country," 3 had, for 
some time, been at such variance with a portion of his parish- 
ioners, that the strife between them had attracted the attention 
of the General Court ; 4 and upon the occurrence of these cases, 
he eagerly availed himself of the opportunity to gratify his 

1 Hale, 21; Calef, 299; Remarks the essays of Perkins, Gaule, and Ber- 
on Calef, 38, 62 ; Mather's Magnalia, nard, with the trials of the witches in 
h. vi. c. vii. ; Hutchinson, ii. 25. Cot- Suffolk. Three of these works — 
ton Mather published, in 1685, an ac- those of Perkins, Gaule, and Bernard 
count of the cases which had occurred — are referred to by Cotton Mather 
in New England, with arguments to in his Enchantments Encountered, 
prove that they were the effects of 3 Calef, 136, ed. 1823 ; Hale, 22. 
familiarity with the devil. 4 Calef, 187, 188 ; Hutchinson, ii. 

2 As GlanviFs Witch Stories, and 18. 


chap, spite by involving his opponents in disgrace. Tituba, an Indian 

^ servant in his employ, who had been accustomed to practise 

1692. " wild incantations," was the first person accused ; * and two 
others being complained of, — Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn. 
the one " melancholy or distracted," and the other " old and 

Mar. 11. bedridden," — the ministers of the neighborhood were called 
in, private fasts were held at the house of Mr. Parris, another 

Har.3i. i u public at the village, and, finally, a general fast was pro- 
claimed throughout the colony, " to seek the Lord that he 
would rebuke Satan, and be a light unto his people in this day 
of darkness." 2 

The notoriety thus given to the affair, like flax cast upon a 
smouldering fire, caused the latent credulity of the people to 
burst forth into a blaze. Bewitched persons alarmingly multi- 
plied ; and the ministers increased the evil by inflammatory 
discourses delivered from their pulpits, in which they declared 
that God had lengthened the chains of the spirits of darkness, 
and let loose the devil upon New England, who often appeared 
in the shape of a black man, as a punishment for the wicked- 
ness and " Sadducism " of the people. 3 

To whom the largest share of responsibility attaches for the 
melancholy events which followed, it may be difficult to say. 
It would be easy to bring plausible proofs to show that those 
who were most forward in the work were intentionally guilty ; 
and it would be especially easy to lay upon Cotton Mather, the 
" thaumaturgus " of the province, a burden of blame which, it 
may be supposed, properly belongs to him as a principal actor 
in the terrible tragedy. And there may have been, on his 
part, and on the part of Parris, and Noyes, and Stoughton, 
inordinate eagerness in fostering the delusion which, without 

1 Calef, 189, says Parris abused 2 Lawson's Brief Narr. 8; Calef, 
her, to make her confess. In her in- 188, 189, 193; Hale, 22, 24. 
cantations, rye meal was mixed with 3 Vide Lawson's Sermon, pub. in 
human urine and given the children 1692. Parris, Noyes, and C. Mather 
to eat. also delivered sermons, and probably 



their cooperation, would probably have soon languished ; but chap. 
it does not thence follow that they were wilfully culpable. It ^^^, 
requires, indeed, no extraordinary stretch of charity to believe 1692. 
that, for. the most part, they were honest in their views, and 
acted from a sincere conviction of duty. That they were de- 
ceived, there can be little doubt, and that they were blinded by 
credulity ; but the errors into which they fell would seem to 
have been such as have been often witnessed among men of an 
impulsive temperament and strong conceit. 

Besides, the people themselves, or a majority of them at 
least, were as fervent believers in the reality of witchcraft as 
the ministers and magistrates, and had certainly some agency 
in producing and prolonging the excitement which prevailed. 
When the spell of superstition is cast over a community, it is 
impossible to tell who will be able to resist its enchantment ; 
for, oftentimes, men of sober judgment are captivated by its 
power, and, in such cases, are hurried into greater excesses 
than those who might, from the weakness of their faculties, 
be supposed more susceptible to the infirmities of a disturbed 
and heated imagination. Upon all who participated in these 
scenes a portion of responsibility rests ; for the delusion was 
wide-spread, and the seeds of fanaticism, every where scat- 
tered, were so prolific that a harvest of bitterness was the 
natural result. 

Few dared gainsay the popular belief. There were some, 
indeed, whose views were in advance of the rest of their age ; * 
but their appeals had little influence at the time. They did 
all they could, consistently with their own safety, to stem 
the current of popular prejudice. But the power was not 
theirs to say to the boisterous waves of passion, " Peace, be 

1 As Brattle and Calef, but espe- Bradstreet, Thomas Danforth, Increase 

cially Willard, the pastor of the South Mather, and Nathaniel Saltonstall, 

Church, to whom the pamphlet enti- and affirms that most of the ministers 

titled " Some Miscellany Observa- and several of the justices were dis- 

tions " is attributed by Calef. Brattle satisfied with the proceedings insti- 

also commends the course of Simon tuted. 1 M. H. Coll. v. 75. 

VOL. II. 3 


chap, still ! " nor could they quell in an instant the furious rage 

^J^ of the storm of imposture which swept over the land. Some 
1692. things had also occurred for which even the sceptical were 
unable to account — incidents analogous to those of our own 
day. And if such incidents, in the nineteenth century, have 
been attributed to spiritual agents, is it surprising that, in the 
seventeenth century, they should have been deemed convincing 
proofs of the reality of witchcraft ? The delusion, if it may 
be called such, was neither wholly unnatural nor wholly inex- 
plicable. It originated, without doubt, in that subtle and 
mysterious influence which is found, at "times, to thrill with 
awe the stoutest heart, bewildering the senses, confounding 
the judgment, and baffling the skill of philosophy to explain. 
It requires deeper thinkers than any that have yet appeared 
to solve all the problems which psychology presents, and to 
read the Sphinx riddles it throws in our path. 

The interest awakened by the first outburst of " Satan's 
assaults " was not suffered to subside for the want of support ; 

Mar. 31. for, before the end of March, the number of the afflicted had 
increased to ten ; x and, as the public mind became more ex- 
cited, after some preliminary examinations six of the niagis- 

Apr. n. trates were convened at Salem, and more formal proceedings 
were instituted. The ministers, as usual, were present on the 
occasion, and Parris was conspicuous for the officiousness of 
his zeal. It was chiefly through his means that the prosecu- 
tions were conducted ; and it was observed, as a proof of his 
partiality, that, while accusations against his friends were 
carefully " stifled," charges against his enemies were " vigi- 
lantly promoted." 2 His own record, still extant, shows 
plainly his feelings ; and from this it is evident that he was 
neither an impartial advocate nor an unbiased judge. Lead- 
ing questions were asked, whose drift the dullest could not 
fail to perceive, until a number of persons, hitherto of 

1 Lawson's Narr.4j Calef, 190. 2 Calef, 135, 194; Hutchinson, ii. 31, 


unblemished reputation — principally females — were attaint- chap. 
ed and imprisoned. Yet the cautious Hale remarks that he ^J^^ 
observed in the conduct of the parties in general, "jus- 1692. 
tices, judges, and others, a conscientious endeavor to do the 
thing that was right ; " l and the venerable Higginson, when 
bending beneath the weight of more than fourscore years, 
bears similar testimony to their integrity, though he very 
properly adds, " There is a question yet unresolved, whether 
some of the laws, customs, and principles used by the judges 
and juries in the trials of witches in England, which were 
followed as patterns here, were not insufficient and unsafe." 2 

The door once opened, the number of prisoners rapidly 
increased. It was not " the poor, and vile, and ragged beg- 
gars upon earth " that were alone accused. Even ministers 
of the gospel did not escape ; and George Burroughs, who 
had formerly preached in Salem Village, and who was hated 
by Parris as a rival, was committed and executed. 3 No one, 
it was found, was safe so long as convictions could be so 
easily procured. "Neither age nor sex, neither ignorance 
nor innocence, neither learning nor piety, neither reputation 
nor office," could shield the suspected from the grasp of the 
law. The only avenue of escape that seemed to be left was 
confession, which, it was intimated, might avert from the ac- May 11 
cused the sentence of death. 4 The gallows was set up, not 
for professed witches, but for those who rebuked the delusion, 
and persisted in asserting their personal innocence. 5 

Upon the organization of the new government, those who 
were imprisoned for witchcraft were ironed, and the sad work 
of prosecution proceeded with increased violence. Sir William 
Phips, the governor, himself a man of but ordinary abilities, 
had been indebted for his office more to the favor of the 

1 Modest Inquiry, 25. 213, 231-242 ; Hutchinson, ii. 57-59. 

2 Preface to Hale's Inquiry, p. 5. 4 Grahame, i. 277 ; Hutchinson, ii. 

3 See C. Mather's Wonders of the 34. 

Invisible World, 94-104 ; Calef, 212, 5 Bancroft, iii. 87. 


chap. Mathers than to his own qualifications ; and William Stough- 
^J^, ton, the lieutenant governor, was also indebted to the Mathers 
1692. for his elevation, though personally fitted for the station he 
filled by his talents, which were at least of average respecta- 
bility. Both of these gentlemen, though differing from each 
other in most respects, had one trait in common — a regard 
to their private interests ; and both, being thoroughly imbued 
with the spirit of the age, fell in with the popular sentiment, 
and lent to it the weight of their official support. 

It is singular to notice the facility with which fanaticism 
dupes its victims. Not. only did the number of the accused 
increase, but some, of irreproachable life, fancied themselves 
possessed with the devil, and confessed that they had entered 
into a compact with Satan, signed with their own blood. 1 
The occurrence of phenomena such as, in our own day, have 
been attributed to a morbid excitement of the nervous system, 
to a disturbed state of the electric forces of the body, to 
animal magnetism, and to the agency of spirits, added to the 
confusion. Some were lifted from the ground by an invisible 
power, and suspended in the air. 2 Others displayed feats of 
remarkable, if not of preternatural, strength. 3 Others, by a 
look, struck with convulsions those upon whom their glance 
fell, or deprived them of speech. 4 Even physical objects were 
mysteriously affected. Buildings were shaken ; furniture was 
destroyed ; and things inanimate seemed to have been endued 
with the instincts of life. 5 The phenomena of somnambulism 
and clairvoyance were likewise exhibited. 6 

It is not enough to assert that all these were delusions ; 
for if the evidence of the senses is utterly unreliable, the whole 
fabric of society is at once overthrown. The most cautious 
scepticism did not deny what was confirmed, not only by 

1 See Mather and Calef, and comp. 4 See Hale, 52, and Brattle, in 1 
Glanvil, Gaule, &c. M. H. Coll. v. 62, 63. 

2 See Calef, 61, 62. 5 Calef and Mather relate instances 

3 See C. Mather and Calef. of this kind. 

6 Calef, 29 ; Upham j Bancroft, &c 


credible witnesses, but by the irresistible convictions of per- chap. 
sonal inspection. And that must be a hopeless state of incre- ^^ 
dulity which, when any thing out of the usual course occurs, 1692. 
refuses to believe in its reality because of its unaccountable- 
ness, or because it has never fallen within the range of indi- 
vidual experience. 

One of the earliest acts of the new administration was the 
institution of a Court of Oyer and Terminer ; and a session 
of the same was held at Salem, where the excitement most June 2. 
prevailed. 1 Bridget Bishop, a friendless woman, was the first 
person brought forward for trial. The charges against her 
were preferred by Parris, conviction followed, and eight days j U n. 10. 
after she was hanged. 2 It has been remarked as worthy of 
special notice, that not one of the magistrates at that time 
held office by popular suffrage, and that the tribunal which 
had been created had no other sanction but an extraordinary 
and an illegal commission, for which the people were not 
responsible. 3 Yet the magistrates were not the originators 
of this delusion, however readily they may have lent to it their 
influence. Nor were the ministers of the country solely culpa- 
ble, however greatly or justly they may be blamed. For there 
were not wanting many, of inferior rank, who approved their 
course and sanctioned their proceedings. If the ministers rec- jun.15. 
ommended " the speedy and' vigorous prosecution of such as 
had rendered themselves obnoxious," they, at the same time, 
urged the " need of a very critical and exquisite caution, lest, 
by too much credulity for things received only upon the devil's 
authority, there be a door opened for a long train of miserable 
consequences, and Satan get an advantage over us." 4 And 
if the magistrates, forgetting the caution, adopted the recom- 
mendation, the people were present to witness the executions. 5 

1 Calef, 207. The officers of this 2 C. Mather, Wonders, &c, 104- 

Court were William Stoughton, Na- 114; Hutchinson, 51, 52. 
thaniel Saltonstall, John Richards, 3 Calef, 225 ; Hutchinson, ii. 51 j 

Bartholomew Gedney, Wait Win- Bancroft, iii. 88. 
throp, Samuel S e wall, and Peter Sar- 4 L Mather, Cases of Conscience; 

gent. See Quincy, Hist. H. Coll. i. Calef, 207, 208 j Hutchinson, ii. 52. 
178. 6 Comp. Hutchinson, ii. 54. 


As the excitement increased, the number of victims multi 
plied ; and at the next session of the court, five were condemned 
1692. and hanged. In the next month, six more were convicted, all 
July 19! of whom were executed but one — Elizabeth Proctor, who was 
Aug. 19! soon to become a mother. 1 In the following month, a like 
Sep. 16! number were sentenced ; and a week. later, Giles Cory, a ven- 
erable octogenarian, for refusing to plead was pressed to death 
— the first and the only instance of this horrible punishment 
Sep. 17. inflicted in New England. 2 The next day nine others were 
Sep. 22. sentenced, and eight of them suffered at the gallows — Noyes, 
the minister of Salem, exclaiming, as their bodies swung in the 
air, "There hang eight firebrands of hell." 3 Never, perhaps, 
was the memorable prediction of our Saviour more strikingly 
verified than at these trials : " From henceforth there shall be 
five in one house divided, three against two, and two against 
three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the 
son against the father ; the mother against the daughter, and 
the daughter against the mother ; the mother-in-law against 
Luk.i2: her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her moth- 
' ' er-in-law." Children were brought forward as accusers of 
their parents, grandchildren accused their grandparents, and 
wives their husbands. Not that the ties of natural affection 
were sundered, for in most cases the accusations were extorted 
through fear. The only alternative left to the suspected was 
to accuse those of their own household, or suffer themselves ; 
and if, under such circumstances, they were " dragooned " into 
a confession which it was difficult to resist, upon recovering 
their self-possession many retracted and besought forgiveness. 4 

1 Calef, 208, 212 ; Hutchinson, ii. devils in hell, and all the possessed in 
57. Salem, should assert the contrary." 

2 Calef, 218, 311, 312; Hutchin- 4 Hale, 29,^ 32; Calef, 214 et*seq.; 
son, ii. 60. Hutchinson, ii. 42-46, 59. In cases 

3 Calef, 221. In justice to Mr. where women were accused, a jury of 
Noyes, however, it should be stated one doctor and eight women examined 
that Brattle, in 1 M. H. Coll. v. 64, their bodies for witch marks, and a 
speaks of him as " a learned, a chari- fleabite would pass for a teat at which 
table, and a good man, though all the imps sucked. 


That there was some imposture mixed with this affair can chap 
hardly be doubted ; for manifestations of art and contrivance, IL 
of deliberate cunning and cool malice, are said to have been 1692. 
palpably exhibited ; and in one or two instances the accusers 
were " caught in their own snare, and- nothing but the blind- 
ness of the bewildered community saved them from disgraceful 
exposure and well-deserved punishment." 1 Personal resent- 
ments may likewise have been gratified by procuring the con- 
viction of those it hated ; and in every respect there may have 
been too much precipitancy in listening to the accusations of 
irresponsible persons. Yet, as a whole, it may probably be 
with justice conceded, that, however frightful the excesses into 
which the people were hurried, they acted under honest con- 
victions of duty ; though their sincerity by no means exoner- 
ates them from the charge of acting injudiciously, nor does it 
relieve them from the imputation of yielding too readily to 
the power of delusion. Without doubt, they condemned, upon 
grounds whose insufficiency was afterwards acknowledged, 
many of the worthiest and best of the age. 

By this time nineteen persons had been hanged, one had Oet. 
been pressed to death, and eight more were under sentence ; 
while of fifty-five who had confessed, not one had suffered. 
One third at least of those who perished were church mem- 
bers ; and more than half are said to have been persons " of 
a good conversation in general.' 7 A few of the accused, by 
the connivance of their friends, escaped by flight ; yet the 
prisons were crowded with victims to the number of at least 
one hundred and fifty, and above two hundred more were 
accused. 2 It was a season of the deepest gloom and anxiety ; 
the people were shivering with superstitious awe ; and the 
thoughtful trembled, and were panic-struck, as they pictured 

1 Upham's Lectures, 52. originated there ; but it had spread to 

2 Calef, 225 ; Hale, 33 ; Brattle, in Boston, Charlestown, Andover, and 
1 M. H. Coll. v. 76, 78. The delusion other places. 

Was not confined to Salem, though it 



chap, to themselves the probable results — for the "generation of 
^J^, the children of God were in danger." l But the storm was at 
1692. its height ; and the crisis was produced by charges against 
persons of whose innocence every one was satisfied. Well 
might those who had never before doubted, and who had ex- 
pressed the utmost confidence in the real agency of Satan, 
pause, and become sceptical, when they found their own 
friends accused ; and well might Cotton Mather, officious in 
his zeal for the detection of satanic influence, learn wisdom 
from the experience of the past, and exclaim, " The whole 
business is hereupon become so snarled, and the determination 
of the question, one way or another, so dismal, that our hon- 
orable judges have room for Jehoshaphat's exclamation, We 
know not what to do. They have used, as judges have here- 
tofore done, the spectral evidences, to introduce their further 
inquiries into the lives of the persons accused ; and they have 
thereupon, By the wonderful providence of God, been so 
strengthened with other evidences, that some of the witch 
gang have been fairly executed. But what shall be done as 
to those against whom the evidence is found chiefly in the 
dark world ? Here they do solemnly demand our addresses 
to the Father of Lights on their behalf. But in the mean 
time the devil improves the darkness of this affair to push us 
into a blind man's buffet ; and we are even ready to be sin- 
fully, yea, hotly and madly, mauling one another in the dark. 
The consequence of these things every considerate man trem- 
bles at ; and the more, because the frequent cheats of passion 
and rumor do precipitate so many, that I wish I could say the 
most were considerate." 2 

1 Hale, 33. of the Lord that I know of in the 

2 Wonders of the Invisible World, world, whether English, or Scotch, or 
52, 53, ed. 1692. Comp. Hale, 34- French, or Dutch, (and I know many,) 
37. In the pamphlet in reply to Ca- are of the same opinion." My friend 
lef, p. 42, Mather also says. "For my Rev. Chandler Bobbins, of Boston, 
own part, I know not that ever I have first called my attention to the above, 
advanced any opinion in the matter of from the copy in the library of Har- 
witchcraft but what all the ministers vard College. 


At this juncture the court adjourned ; and before it re- chap 
assembled the spell was broken. The wife of Mr. Hale, of ^_J^ 
Beverly, was among the accused ; insinuations had been 1692. 
thrown out against Mr. Willard, the excellent pastor of the 
South Church in Boston, and Mr. Deane of Andover ; and 
even the wife of Sir William Phips did not escape suspicion. 1 
Under these circumstances, the revulsion was electrical. If 
mere accusations were in themselves plenary proofs of guilt, 
then might the best fall ; and, in this view, was it not time to 
inquire whether the whole subject was not open to doubt? 
The antidote for delusion is an enlightened reason, which 
calmly weighs in the balance of truth conflicting opinions, 
avoids hasty judgments, and pronounces its verdicts only after 
mature deliberation, basing them upon safe and reliable data. 
Had such reason been exercised at the outset, the wildest 
excesses of the delusion would have been prevented, and the 
gallows would have been despoiled of its numerous victims. 
But the sober second thought of the community was awaken- 
ing ; and outraged justice, casting aside the Mokanna veil 
which had distorted its vision, stood forth once more in the 
open light of day, and wielded its powers, not to crush, but to 

Mr. Brattle, in the mean time, was not idle. " The court," 
says he, " is adjourned to the first Tuesday in November, then 
to be kept at Salem ; between this and then will be the great 
assembly, in which this subject will be peculiarly agitated. I 
think it is matter of earnest supplication and prayer to 
Almighty God, that he would afford his gracious presence to 
the said assembly, and direct them aright in so weighty an 
affair. Our hopes are here ; and if, at this juncture, God does 
not graciously appear for us, I think we may conclude that 
New England is undone, and undone." 2 Mr. Hale was like- 
wise wavering, and was inclined to suspect that he had been 

1 Calef, Hale, &c. 2 1 M. H. Coll. v. 76. 


chap. " walking in a wrong path." And even Cotton Mather, deeply 
^^^ as he was involved in the affair, had stepped forward with a 
1692. proposal that, " if the possessed people, who were under accu- 
sation, might be scattered far asunder, he would singly provide 
for six of them, and see whether, without more bitter meth- 
ods, prayer with fasting would not put an end to these heavy 
trials." 1 

A large share of credit, however, is due to the people of 
Oct. 18. Andover, who openly remonstrated against the doings of the 
tribunals. " We know not," say they, " who can think himself 
safe, if the accusations of children, and others under a diabol- 
ical influence, shall be received against persons of good fame." 
Nor was this remonstrance ill timed, for a large number of the 
inhabitants of Andover had been accused. Dudley Bradstreet, 
a justice of the peace, and a son of the venerable Simon Brad- 
street, had " granted warrants against and committed thirty or 
forty to prison for the supposed witchcrafts ; " but becoming 
dissatisfied, and refusing to proceed farther, he and his wife 
were both " cried out against," and he " found it his safest 
course to make his escape." Those who had been committed, 
knowing themselves innocent, were " all exceedingly astonished 
and amazed, and affrighted even out of their reason " into con- 
fession. " Our understanding, our reason, and our faculties 
almost gone," say they, " we were not capable of judging our 
condition, as also the hard measure they used with us rendered 
us uncapable of making our defence ; but said any thing and 
every thing which they desired, and most of what we said was 
but in effect a consenting to what they said." 2 

Is it surprising that such excesses were no longer endura- 
ble? Yet it is to the credit of the people that no tumultuous 
modes of redress were adopted, and that they did not retaliate 

1 Comp. Robbins's Hist. Second tied "Some few Remarks," &c, in 

Church, Boston, p. 107, with Brattle, reply to Calef, p. 39. 
in 1 M. H. Coll. v. 76, 77, and Calef, 2 Calef, 224-228; Hutchinson, ii, 

36-38. See also the pamphlet enti- 43-47,61; Abbot's Andover, 164. 


upon their accusers, meeting violence with violence. Restrain- chap 

ing their passions, and appealing with calmness to Almighty ^ 

God to witness their innocence, they trusted that the blindness 1692. 
of fanaticism, which had seized upon the community, was not 
wholly impenetrable by the light of truth, and that the cry of 
justice would make itself heard. And the result vindicated 
their wisdom ; for when the Superior Court met at Salem, six 
women of Andover, at once renouncing their confessions, did 
not scruple to treat the whole affair as a frightful delusion ; 
and of the presentments against those who were still in prison, 
the grand jury dismissed more than half without hesitation ; 
and if they found bills against a few, they were all acquitted 
upon trial except three of the worst, and even these were 
reprieved by the governor, and recommended to mercy. " Such 
a gaol delivery was made this court, as has never been known 
at any other time in New England." x 

Yet one more attempt was made to convict ; and Sarah Das- 
ton, a woman eighty years old, was brought to trial at Charles- 
town, in the presence of a crowd greater than had collected on 
any previous occasion. But, though the evidence against her 
would have been deemed sufficient six months before, the people 
had seen enough to awaken mistrust, and a verdict of acquittal 
was promptly rendered. 2 Nor could the case of Margaret 
Rule, which occurred not long after in Boston itself, and under 
the inspection of Cotton Mather, revive the delusion. The 1693. 

1 . ' Sept. 10, 

excess of the evil wrought its cure. Its days were numbered, 
and the community was happily delivered from its power. 3 

As the excitement subsided, the prominent actors in the ter- 
rible tragedy began to reflect, and a few made public acknowl- 
edgment of their error. Sewall, in particular, openly confessed 
his mistake, and sought the forgiveness of those he had wronged. 4 

1 Calef. 226-228 ; Hutchinson, ii. 3 Calef, p. 23 et seq. ; C. Mather, 
61, 62 ; Abbot's Andover, 163-167. More Wonders, &c. 

2 Bancroft, iii. 96. 4 Hutchinson, ii. 62 ; Holmes's Am. 

Ann. i. 440 ; Drake's Boston, 502. 


chap. And Hale, in his " Modest Inquiry," made a similar confession. 1 

v _J^^, But the confession of Parris was deemed less sincere, and was 

1694. rather extorted through fear of suspension than from an honest 

' conviction that he had been in the wrong. 2 Stoughton alone 

refused to retract, and to the day of his death never regretted 

the part he had taken. 3 

The evils resulting from this delusion were felt for a long 
time, and it is difficult to conceive the excitement which pre- 
vailed, and the suffering and sorrow it brought to all. Some 
have spoken of this whole affair in terms of contempt ; others 
have unsparingly denounced its participants ; very few have 
considered the subject calmly and dispassionately, or given due 
credit to the honesty of the parties. It was an unhappy affair, 
at the best ; but it can be said with truth, that the delusion 
was less extensive, and caused less suffering, in New England 
than in Old ; for there the belief in witchcraft prevailed until 
the middle of the eighteenth century, and persons were hanged, 
or otherwise put to death, as witches, long after such executions 
had ceased in Amei^ca. 4 

1 Published in 1697. A second 2 Calef, 123-128. 
edition was issued in 177 1, from which 3 Hutchinson, ii. 62. 
I quote. 4 Hutchinson, ii. 22, 28. 



The arrival of Sir William Phips was followed by the chap. 
organization of the government under the new charter. At ^^^ 
once the question arose — and a serious question it was — how 1692. 
far that instrument extended in its effects upon the laws which 
had been enacted under the colonial charter. Obviously, if it 
invalidated all those laws, a new code must be framed, or the 
old code must be revived. Accordingly, at the first session of 
the General Court, an act was passed confirming the former June 8 
laws until the following November ; and during the recess of 
the court it was proposed that the members should take this 
subject in charge, and " consider of such laws as were necessary 
to be established." 1 It was unfortunate for the people that a 
select committee was not appointed to attend to this duty ; and 
the subject itself was of such consequence that the wisest and 
best should have been placed on -that committee. But the 
necessity for this step was not then foreseen. Hence, when the 
laws were revised, instead of framing a general code to be for- 
warded to England, only detached acts were presented, several 
of which were rejected by the king. This led to confusion ; 
whereas, had the whole subject been acted upon at once, such 
alterations would have been proposed as might have issued in 
a consistent and digested body of laws ; and in case of the 
rejection of particular acts, temporary provisions might have 

1 Mass. Rec's. MS. Continuation of Chalmers's Polit. Annals, Pt. IL; 
Hutchinson, ii. 18, 21, 63. 



chap, been made until the pleasure of his majesty was further known, 
^J^_ or until laws were passed which met his approval. 
1692. The principal acts rejected by the king were those which 
asserted the views of the people upon points on which differ- 
ences of opinion existed between them and the crown. Among 
these was one which set forth that " no aid, tax, tallage, assess- 
- ment, custom, loan, benevolence, or imposition, should be laid, 
assessed, or levied on any of their majesties' subjects, or their 
estates, on any pretence whatsoever, but by the act and consent 
of the governor, council, and representatives of the people, 
assembled in General Court." 1 This act, which was, in effect, 
a denial of the right of Parliament to tax the colonies for any 
purpose, was of course obnoxious to all who asserted that 
right ; and it is not surprising that it was rejected. Yet it is 
worthy of notice that thus early did Massachusetts reiterate 
her views, and, as under the colonial, so under the provincial 
charter, join issue with the parent state upon the vital point 
which, throughout our whole history, was never lost sight of, 
and which led eventually to the rupture which issued in the 
independence of the colonies. 

The enactment claiming the benefit of the writ of habeas 
corpus was likewise rejected, on the ground that " the privilege 
had not yet been granted to the plantations." Yet if the 
colonists were Englishmen, and entitled to the immunities of 
Englishmen, it is difficult to conceive with what propriety this 
right could be withheld. It was enjoyed in the old world : 
why should it not be in the new ? 2 Part of the criminal code 
of the province was also disallowed, especially the act for pun- 

1 Hutchinson, ii. 64. It is singular trine itself must be regarded as accord- 
to notice the unanimity with which ing with the principles of natural jus- 
the doctrine of the text was avowed tice, else would it never have been so 
in all the colonies about this time ; generally approved. Comp. Gordon's 
and when it is borne in mind that Am. Revolution, i. 20, 42, 52, 54, 55j 
these colonies were settled at different 63, 64, 73. 

periods, and by persons of different 2 MS. Continuation of Chalmers's 

nations and of different religious per- Polit. Annals, Pt. II. ; Hutchinson, ii. 

suasions, it is evident that the doc- 65 ; Grahame, vol. i. 


ishing capital offenders, which was founded upon the Mosaic, chap. 
rather than upon the English law. 1 It was not the design of ^J^_ 
the mother country to allow her provinces too much latitude 1692. 
in their affairs ; and Massachusetts, for her former refractori- 
ness, was made to feel at the outset that she had passed from a 
state of comparative independence to one of comparative sub- 
jection and control. Is it surprising, under these circumstances, 
that " the colonial administration of William, contradictory in 
principle and inconsiderate in conduct/' by the representation 
of a pleader against the colonies, " necessarily weakened the 
jurisdiction of England over her plantations " ? 2 

Of the acts approved by the king, some were of great im- 
portance. These provided for the settlement and distribution 
of the estates of intestates ; the prevention of frauds and per- 
juries ; the observance of the Lord's day ; the solemnization of 
marriages by ministers or justices ; the settlement and support 
of ministers and schoolmasters ; the settlement of county 
bounds, and the regulation of towns ; the administration of the 
oaths of allegiance and supremacy ; the regulation of the fees 
of civil and judicial officers ; ascertaining the number, and reg- 
ulating the House of Representatives ; and the prevention of 
danger from the French. 3 Two of these acts merit particular 
attention. That which related to the observance of t|ie Lord's 
day forbade all labor and amusements, works of necessity and 
charity only excepted, under a penalty of five shillings for each 
offence, and all travelling for business purposes under a pen- 
alty of twenty shillings. It also forbade vintners entertaining 

1 Hutchinson, ii. 65. ed to him, but " no salary was settled 

2 Chalmers, Revolt, i. 3 15. or intended." Hence he petitioned 

3 Province Laws, ed. 1726, pp. 1- " the royal recommendation of this 
34 ; Hutchinson, ii. 65. Governor object, which, he conceived, would 
Phips, in his letter to England at the prove effectual." But little did he 
date of the transmission of the laws of know the temper or policy of the peo- 
the province, gives the first intimation pie if he supposed such a recommen- 
of the controversy which, for so long a dation would succeed ; for no future 
period, agitated the community, rela- governor or king was able to accom- 
tive to the salary of the chief magis- plish the object. See under chap. v. 
trate. A gratuity of £500 was grant- 


chap, others than strangers or lodgers, under a penalty of five 
^J^ lings. All masters and governors of families were required 
1692. to " take effectual care that their children, servants, and others 
under their immediate government, do not transgress in any of 
the foregoing particulars ; " and justices of the peace, consta- 
bles, and tithingmen were required to " take effectual care " for 
the observance of the act, " as also to restrain all persons from 
swimming in the water, unnecessary and unseasonable walking 
in the streets or fields in the town of Boston, or other places, 
keeping open their shops, or following their secular occasions 
or recreations in the evening preceding the Lord's day, or any 
part of the said day or evening following." J These regulations 
evince the scrupulousness of the age, and the reverence for 
Sunday which was a prominent trait of the Puritan character. 
How striking the contrast between such legislation and that 
which sanctioned " dancing, archery, leaping, vaulting, having 
May games, Whitson-ales, morrice dances, setting up May poles, 
and other sports therewith used, or any other harmless recrea- 
tions on Sundays after divine service." 2 If the one was too 
strict, the other was assuredly sufficiently lax. An enlightened 
reverence will always hold sacred things in proper esteem ; 
and an intelligent regard for Sunday, and for all seasons of 
special religious improvement, will point out the path of pro- 
priety and decorum. 

The act for the settlement and support of ministers and 
schoolmasters had also its peculiarities. By its terms, every 
town was required to be constantly provided with an " able, 
learned, and orthodox minister or ministers, of good con- 
versation, to dispense the word of God to them," who were to 
be " suitably encouraged and sufficiently supported and main- 
tained by the inhabitants of such town." All contracts made 

1 The power of " restraint " men- or stocks not exceeding three hours." 

tioned in this act was interpreted in Laws, pp. 14, 15. 
1704 to be u understood of imprison- 2 King James's Book of Sports, 4to 

ment, not exceeding the space of 1618. 
twelve hours, or by sitting in the cage 


for the support of ministers or schoolmasters were to remain chap. 
" good and valid according to the true intent thereof ; " and in w ^^ 
case of neglect by any town, for the space of six months, to 1692. 
provide for the maintenance of a minister, the Court of Quarter 
Sessions was empowered to " order a competent allowance unto 
such minister according to the estate and ability of the town. 77 
It was likewise ordered — though the order was subsequently 
modified — that the churches in the several towns of the prov- 
ince should " use, exercise, and enjoy all their privileges and 
freedoms respecting divine worship, church order and disci- 
pline," and be " encouraged in the peaceable and regular profes- 
sion and practice thereof ; " and " every minister, being a per- 
son of good conversation, chosen by the major part of the 
inhabitants in any town at a town meeting duly warned for 
that purpose," was to be " the minister of such town," and the 
whole town was to " pay towards his settlement and mainte- 
nance, each man his several proportion thereof." Every town 
of one hundred families, in addition to its common school, was 
to support a grammar school ; and every town of fifty families, 
neglecting for one year to provide for the constant support of 
a schoolmaster, incurred a penalty of ten pounds, to be levied 
towards the support of such schools within the county as were 
most in need, at the discretion of the justices in Quarter Ses- 
sions. 1 

Such were the provisions for education and religion ; and it 
is to the credit of our fathers that they paid such attention to 
the vital, and permanent interests of society. It is to this fore- 
sight we owe our prosperity ; and we shall look in vain into 
the contemporary legislation of any country out of New Eng- 
land for similar provisions for the widest diffusion of intelli- 
gence and morality. Massachusetts enjoys the distinguished 
honor of having led in the work of universal education ; and 

1 Laws, ed. 1726, p. 17. See fur- c. 9 ; 1 A. c. 4 ; 2 G. c. 5 ; 4 G. c. 6 j 
ther 4 and 5 W. and M. c. 21 ; 7 W. and 8 G. c. 6. 

VOL. II. 4 


chap, the deference of her people to the support of religion is as 
v- ^ w creditable to their wisdom as it is commendable to their piety. 
1692. The Bay Province alone is said to have contained at this time 
eighty churches ; and the whole number in New England was 
computed at one hundred and twenty. 1 Most of the ministers 
had been educated at Harvard, the " school of the prophets/' 
and until 1691 the only college in America. 2 One hundred 
and fifty ministers had been graduated from its halls ; and 
though some sought employment abroad, and settled in Eng- 
land, the greater part remained in the country, and were the 
principal pastors of the churches of New England. 3 There 
were some dissenters in the province, and dissenting churches 
had been established. 4 Episcopacy had likewise effected a 
lodgment, and there was an Episcopal church in Boston. 5 But 
the majority of the churches were of the Puritan stamp, and 
Puritanism was the prevalent and popular religion. Some may 
regret that its sway has since lessened ; but in the progress of 
society changes must be expected ; and though different opin- 
ions may be entertained of the tendency of these changes, few, 
perhaps, would be satisfied with the systems of the past if 
revived in their original form, and few would admit their com- 
plete adaptation to the wants of the present age. Yet truly 
enlightened minds will never cease to reverence all that was 
excellent in the faith or the practice of the past ; and there 
was much in the faith and practice of the Puritans worthy of 
the highest praise. 

1 Holmes, Am. Ann. i. 459, gives went to England. Hazard, ii. 74 ; 
the number of churches in 1696 as Quincy's Hist. i. 16. 

130; but ibid. 480, he says that in 4 The first Baptist church in Mas- 

1701 there were but 120 ministers, sachusetts was established in Swansey 

Comp. Hildreth, U. S. ii. 168. in 1663 ; the first in Boston was es- 

2 William and Mary College, in tablished in 1665. Benedict, i. 354, 
Virginia, was founded in 1691. See 381. 

its charter, and comp. Trott's Laws, 5 An Episcopal church was built 

art. Virginia ; Holmes, Am. Ann. i. during the administration of Andros. 

443; 1 M. H. Coll. v. 164-166. See vol. i. of this work, and the au- 

3 See the catalogues for lists of the thorities there cited ; and comp. 1 M. 
graduates. There was early com- H. Coll. iii. 259. 

plaint that many of the graduates 


The members of the new government had, many of them, chap. 
held office under the old charter. Bradstreet, Saltans tall, ^^ 
Wait Winthrop, Russell, Sewall, Appleton, Gedney, Hathorne, 1692. 
Hutchinson, Pike, Joyliffe, Hinckley, Bradford, Walley, and 
Lathrop, had all been assistants in Massachusetts or Plymouth, 
and most of them had been distinguished for their zealous 
defence of the liberties of the people, and their uncompromis- 
ing resistance to the aggressions of the Stuarts. Of the new 
members, Phillips, Curwin, Adam Winthrop, Middlecot, Fos- 
ter, Sergeant, Lynde, Hayman, Mason, Alcot, Donnell, and 
Davis, were less known, and had been less conspicuous. One 
of the number, Mason, was a merchant in London, friendly to 
New England, but never a resident of the country ; and his 
name was probably inserted in the charter chiefly from respect. 
The last three were from Maine and the more distant east. 1 

Sir William Phips, the governor, was a native of New Eng- 
land, and owed his elevation more to a concurrence of favora- 
ble circumstances than to the dignity of his character or the 
strength of his intellect. Born in an obscure village on the 1650-51. 
banks of the Kennebec, and apprenticed to a ship carpenter at 
the age of eighteen, a few years after attaining his majority he ices. 
embarked on the ocean, for the recovery of a Spanish wreck 1683. 
laden with treasures. His success in this expedition, which 
certainly evinced an enterprising genius, was the foundation 
of his fortune, and procured him the honor of knighthood 1687. 
from the king. Receiving an appointment as high sheriff 
of New England, he returned to his native land, and settled 
in Boston towards the close of the administration of Andros. 1689. 
Here he joined the North Church, of which Cotton Mather 1690. 
was pastor ; and his zeal for Puritanism and the advantages 
of his position so far commended him to the favor of the 
aspiring minister, then in the zenith of his power and at 
the height of popularity, that, conceiving him to be one whose 

1 For sketches of these gentlemen, see Hutchinson, ii. 20, 21, 69, 70; 
and comp. Williamson's Maine, vol. i. 


chap, administration would, in many respects, be serviceable to the 
^^^ church and agreeable to the people, his name was sent in as 
1692. a candidate for the chief magistracy by Increase Mather, the 
agent of the colony in England, 1 to whom, as a matter of con- 
ciliation, the nomination of the first officers under the new 
charter had been left. 2 

The qualifications of Phips, which influenced the Mathers 
to espouse his cause, were, that from the warmth of the neo- 
phyte they were assured of his favor to the congregational 
churches, and that there would be less danger of innovations 
in religion than under the administration of one less friendly 
to the Puritan creed ; that in political affairs, as his experi- 
ence was trifling and his opportunities had been limited, he 
might be inclined to listen with deference to the advice of his 
spiritual guides, who were among the most prominent politi- 
cians of the day ; and that as a native of the country, who had 
served in the French wars, and who was well known to the 
people, he would be more acceptable than a stranger, and 
more confidence could be placed in his fidelity to their 

That the Mathers were honest in their views, has been 
doubted by some ; and their characters have been subjected to 
a scrutiny as severe, perhaps, as ever was known. Yet no 
men stood higher with their contemporaries than they, and 
none were looked up to with greater respect. The attachment 
of the people to them was general and sincere ; nor, from a 
review of their history, do we see cause to doubt the brilliancy 
of their talents or the purity of their intentions. 3 In some 
things, it is true, their zeal may have been excessive ; and the 
credulity of Cotton Mather was certainly unbounded. Yet, 
when even his political enemies acknowledged his worth, and 

1 Mr. Phips was in England at this through the grace of Christ, we can 
time, as well as Mr. Mather. defy all the malice of our enemies." 

2 Mather, Magnalia, b. ii., Life of I. and C. M., Postscript to Remarks 
Phips, § 14. on Calef, p. 70. See also ibid. p. 33, 

3 "We have not lived so but that, 


his religious opponents commended his piety, it will, perhaps, chap. 
be conceded, that there must have been qualities in* the man _^^ 
which commanded respect, else would he never have been held 1692. 
in such esteem. That both father and son were confirmed 
politicians, no one can doubt ; and that they were thoroughly 
convinced of the truth of their creed, will probably be also 
admitted ; nor would it be strange, considering their tempera- 
ment and the circumstances in which they were placed, if, in 
some instances, they overstepped the bounds of that moderation, 
which is the golden mean between fanaticism on the one hand, 
and the excessive conservatism which clings tenaciously to old 
institutions, both of which disturb the harmonious action of 
the mind, and give to it a tinge of partiality and onesidedness. 
But if the Mathers had their failings, they were lovers of lib- 
erty. New England, to them, was a terrestrial paradise. 
Attached to its creed, and attached to its policy, they devoted 
themselves zealously to the promotion of its welfare. They 
were never found wanting in patriotism or loyalty. They 
were respected at home, and respected abroad. And every 
where their talents secured to them friends. 1 

Had Sir William Phips been less under the influence of the 
Mathers, it might, perhaps, have been better for him, and better 
for the country. The chief magistrate of a commonwealth 
should, of all men, be free from the bias which dependence cre- 
ates. He should possess, personally, the decision and energy 
becoming his station ; the political wisdom which marks the 
true statesman ; and that dignity of character and moral sensi- 
bility, which, equally removed from haughtiness on the one 
hand and vehemence on the other, give him the command at 
all times of his own temper, and render him self-possessed, affa- 
ble, and courteous. In most of these qualities Sir William was 

1 For a noble tribute to the mem- duced from the writings of contempo- 

ory of Cotton Mather, see Robbins's raries, commending the piety of both 

Hist. Second Church, Boston. Abun- father and son. The eulogies at their 

dant testimony could be easily pro- decease speak highly in their praise. 


chap, wanting. He had energy enough, but not of the right kind ; 

^^^^ he was comparatively destitute of political wisdom ; he had 
1692. enjoyed few advantages for literary culture ; and so violent 
was his temper that he was hurried into excesses which weak- 
ened his influence, and eventually led to his recall from his 
government. No one impeaches his honesty or his courage. 
No one doubts that he was benevolent and friendly. Yet good 
judges have pronounced him " much better fitted to manage the 
crew of a man-of-war than to sit at the helm of the ship of 
state." x 

Justice, however, requires the concession that, whatever may 
have been his disqualifications for the office of governor, while 
in that office, " according to the best of his apprehension, he 
ever sought the good of his country." And if the statement 
of his biographer may be credited, 2 " he would often speak to 
the members of the General Assembly in such terms as these : 
Gentlemen, you may make yourselves as easy as you will for- 
ever. Consider what may have any tendency to your welfare, 
and you may be sure that, whatever bills you offer to me, con- 
sistent with the honor and interest of the crown, I will pass 
them readily. I do but seek opportunities to serve you. Had 
it not been for this, I had never accepted the government of 
this province. And whenever you have settled such a body 
of good laws, that no person coming after me may make you 
uneasy, I shall desire not one day longer to continue in the 

These sentiments are certainly liberal ; and had the admin- 
istration of Sir William corresponded to his professions, some 
little allowance might have been made for his personal defi- 
ciencies. Perhaps some allowance may at all events be claimed 

1 Hutchinson, ii. 74 ; Holmes, Am. the same time, he thinks the state- 
Ann, i. 456, 457, note. ments of Mather are a little exagger- 

2 Mather, Magnalia, Life of Phips, ated, and that achievements are as- 
§ 15. Calef, More Wonders, &c, p. 
287 et seq., admits that Phips " aimed performed, 
at the good of the people ; " but, at 


for hiin, on the score of inexperience, the peculiarities of his chap 
situation, and his embarrassments from the party opposed to IIL 
his government. For there were men in the province — at the 1692. 
head of whom stood Cooke and Oakes, both friends to the old 
charter, and averse to its surrender — who had organized a 
party vigilant to scrutinize the movements of the new gov- 
ernment, and determined to oppose it wherever it swerved 
from the line of fealty to the liberties of the people. 1 From 
this time forward, indeed, party spirit will be found more prev- 
alent than ever under the old charter. The struggle for the 
continued ascendency of Puritanism against the aggressions of 
a more liberal theology ; the change in political relations, 
which had given birth to the parties of freedom and preroga- 
tive ; and the naturally progressive tendencies, springing from 
the activity of thought and the yearning for a higher freedom, 
which characterized the people of Massachusetts, — all these, 
combined, give to the period of our history now entered upon 
a singular complexity ; and the involution and evolution of the 
elements of strife and the germs of advancement render the 
labor of the historian, onerous enough under any circumstances, 
one of increasing perplexity, from the difficulty of penetrating 
the disguises of dogmatists, and detecting truth amidst the con- 
flicting and fluctuating statements of those whose interests 
inclined them to gloss over the faults which they wished to 
conceal, or depreciate the virtues which they were unwilling to 
acknowledge. 2 

The part taken by Sir William in the extraordinary delusion 
which overspread the country at the date of his arrival has been 
already noticed ; and there were some who thought he had yield- 
ed too readily to popular feeling, and shown too much deference 

1 Both Cooke and Oakes were cho- 2 Even the statements of Hutch- 
sen councillors by the people in 1693 ; inson must be taken cum grano salis, 
but the governor refused his assent to especially in those parts of his narra- 
Mr. Cooke, who, when in England, tive in which he was personally inter- 
had opposed his appointment to the ested. Without doubt he designed 
chief magistracy. Hutchinson, ii. 69, to be impartial, nor was he probably 
70. conscious that he was not so. 


chap, to the opinions of the clergy. But if charity mantles the fail- 
,J^^ ings of his associates, the hem of that mantle should touch the 

1692. chief magistrate, who was guilty of no greater excesses than 
many, his superiors in ability, who partook of his error. 1 His 
vigilance in checking the inroads of the Indians, who were rav- 
aging the eastern settlements, was a commendable feature of 
his administration. It was at his instance, likewise, and under 
his inspection, that a fort was built at Pemaquid, as a barrier 
to these encroachments. 2 And the league which he formed 

1693. with the Indians, had it been kept, would have restored peace' 
ug ' ' to many desolated homes, and have delivered the people from 

that state of alarm in which they were involved for about 
twenty years. 3 

The difficulties which led to the recall of Governor Phips 
originated from his collision with Mr. Brenton, of Rhode Island, 
who had been appointed collector for the port of Boston. 4 A 
vessel had arrived from Bermudas, laden with fustic, which was 
purchased on speculation by Colonel Foster, a member of the 
council and a friend to the governor. From an alleged infor- 
mality in the captain's proceedings both vessel and goods were 
seized by the collector ; and upon Foster's complaint to the 
governor, he, from his commission as vice admiral claiming the 
right to exercise admiralty jurisdiction, which the king had 
reserved to himself, charged the collector with having over- 
stepped the bounds of his office, and upon his refusal to release 
the ship, went in person to the wharf and forced him to yield. 5 

1 See chap. ii. 3 Mather, Life of Phips, § 17 ; 

2 On the fort at Pemaquid, see Neal's N. E. 543 ; Charlevoix, vol. 
Niles's Indian Wars, in 3 M. H. Coll. iii.; Hutchinson, ii. 72 ; Belknap's N. 
vi. 231 ; Dummer's Defence, 25, ed. H. i. 265 ; N. H. Hist. Coll. ii. 235, 
1721; Mather, Life of Phips, § 17; 236. 

Hutchinson, ii. 68 ; Neal's N. E. ii. 4 This was before the establishment 

118; Holmes, Am. Ann. i. 442 ; Wil- of custom houses in the plantations by 

liamson's Me., i. 635, &c. Massachu- act of Parliament. Hutchinson, ii. 74. 

setts disliked the erection of this fort. 5 Mass. Rec's, and Hutchinson, ii. 

Hutchinson, ii. 68. It was called Fort 74, 75. 
William Henry, and was garrisoned 
with 60 men. 


There had been a misunderstanding, also, between the governor chap, 

and Captain Short, of the Nonsuch frigate, which ended in his JjO^j 

caning Short, and committing him to prison. 1 In consequence 

of these difficulties complaints were instituted against the gov- 1694. 

1 ° & Nov. 17. 

ernor, and he was ordered to England to answer to the same. 2 

The prejudice against him in England was great ; and it was 
not a little aggravated by the conduct of Dudley, himself anx- 
ious for the governorship, who, in connection with Brenton, 
instituted suits in actions of twenty thousand pounds damages ; 
but by the intervention of Sir Henry Ashhurst, the agent of 
the province, Sir William was bailed, and his friends were anti- 
cipating an accommodation of his affairs, and that he would be 
permitted to return to resume his government, when, partly in 
consequence of the humiliation of his arrest, a fever set in which i694-9o. 

Feb. 18 

terminated his life. 3 

One incident, which occurred before the close of his admin- 
istration, merits particular notice. In the choice of deputies to 
the General Court, it had been customary to allow the country 
towns the privilege of choosing for their representatives resi- 
dents of Boston ; but this year, upon a motion for an address 1694. 
to the king against the removal of Phips, that motion was car- 
ried by a bare majority, twenty-six voting for it, and twenty- 
four against it. Most of the inhabitants of Boston who repre- 
sented the country towns voted against the address ; whereupon 
the friends of Phips, to prevent future trouble, inserted a clause 
in a bill then pending requiring residence as a qualification for 

1 N. Eng. Ent's, iv. 76, quoted by 3 Mather, Life of Phips, § 20 ; 
Chalmers, MS. Pt. II. ; Hutchinson, Neal's N. Eng. 544, 545 ; Hutchin- 
ii. 75, 76, and 78, note. Mather, in son, ii. 77, 82. Chalmers, MS. Pt.IL, 
his Life of Phips, omits to notice on the authority of 7 Jour. 401, and 
either of these cases, perhaps because 4 N. Eng. Ent's, 95, says Phips ar- 
he felt that the conduct of the gov- rived in England in January, 1695, 
ernor was open to censure. but before his case could be inquired 

2 Mather, Life of Phips, § 20. Chal- into he died. The cause of his death 
mers, MS. Pt. II., says Phips was in- was attributed by the lords justices to 
formed of the charges against him in his " want of a fixed salary, which put 
February, 1694, and quotes N. Eng. him upon improper modes of support- 
Ent's, 4j 92, &c. ing himself" ! 


chap, town representatives. The change thus introduced by the pre- 
> _J^_ rogative, or court party, for merely personal ends, was highly 
1694. important ; for, by requiring towns to choose one of their own 
citizens as delegates to the General Court, it brought the ques- 
tions of the day directly to their doors, and compelled them to 
take an immediate interest in political discussions. By this 
means the people were trained to investigate constitutional 
principles ; and from the country towns were sent to the 
legislature men of the first talents, to participate in its 
discussions, and in the exciting events which afterwards 
occurred. 1 

Upon the departure of Mr. Phips, the care of the govern- 
ment devolved upon William Stoughton, the lieutenant gov- 
ernor, who, though his sympathies were with the court party, 
enjoyed in a high degree the confidence of the people, from his 
supposed attachment to their civil and religious interests. A 
1650 graduate of Harvard College, 2 employed as an agent for the 
1676. colony in England, and interested for many years in political 
affairs, he was not only acquainted with the views of the Eng- 
lish government, but knew also what suited the temper of his 
countrymen. 3 Some, indeed, were opposed to him, because of 
his conduct as a councillor under Andros, and because of his 
participation in the persecutions for witchcraft; yet, on the 
whole, perhaps, it would have been difficult to have found one 
more acceptable ; and hence his administration was compara- 
tively tranquil. None of his measures awakened jealousy ; the 

1 Mass. Rec's ; Hutchinson, ii. 77, " Mr. Stoughton is inclined to the 
78 ; Everett's Orations, 495. ed. 1836. Nonconformist ministers, yet stands 
Douglass insinuates that this step was- right to his majesty's interests." 
taken at the instance of the Mathers. Hutch. Coll. 548. Cotton Mather, in* 

2 Mr. Stoughton Avas educated for his letter to his father, written to la- 
the ministry, in which he continued vor the appointment of Stoughton to 
above twenty years ; but " the people office, says, " Mr. Stoughton is a real 
judged him proper to take his father's friend to New England, and willing to 
place as a magistrate," and the rest of make any amendment for the m'scar- 
his life was devoted to politics. Hutch- riages of the late government. I wish 
inson, ii. 118 ; Quincy's Hist. H. Coll. that you might be able to do any thing 
L 172. to restore him to the favor of his coun- 

Kandolph, in 1686, said of him, try." Hutchinson, i. 365, note. 


affairs of the government were conducted with prudence ; and chap. 
a spirit of general contentment prevailed. v^^-L. 

Mr. Stoughton was a Puritan of the commonwealth mould. 1695. 
Of a phlegmatic temperament ; rigidly attached to the Puritan 
creed ; thoroughly versed in the knowledge of men ; knowing 
how to accommodate himself to a variety of circumstances, yet 
superior to all ; he was one who, in any situation, was calcu- 
lated to succeed. Prudently deferring to the counsels of others, 
that they might share the responsibility of his measures, he 
rarely acted from impulse, but always from the maxims of a 
judicious policy. Possessing none of the softness which 
springs from a warm heart, and uninspired by the influences of 
domestic life, he looked upon men from his isolated position as 
beings to be governed by minds of a superior cast ; and if he 
succeeded in ruling them, it was by humoring their prejudices, 
and conciliating the favor of the most influential. If he occa- 
sionally lost the confidence of the community, he had the 
address to recover it by the gravity of his deportment, and by 
studiously avoiding all that might offend. Hence, to the 
day of his death, notwithstanding there were some whose 1701. 
friendship he could never secure, the body of the people re- 
garded him with favor ; and he left as few enemies as any one 
who had taken so active a part in the government, and who 
had passed through so many eventful vicissitudes. 1 

At the commencement of Mr. Stoughton's administration, it 
was not expected that it would be of long continuance ; for, if 
Governor Phips did not return, it was supposed that a new 
chief magistrate would soon be appointed. Joseph Dudley, a 
native of Massachusetts, and conspicuous for his zeal in the 
Overthrow of the old charter, aspired to this office ; and, upon 
the death of Phips, he solicited for it with strong hopes of 

1 For an elaborate notice of Stough- before his death a building was reared 

ton, see Quincy's Hist. H. C. i. 172- at his expense, which took the name 

180. Mr. Stoughton was a munifi- of Stoughton Hall. 
cent benefactor of the college : and 


chap, success. The character of Mr. Dudley is one of that class 
y J^^ which it is difficult to portray, because the anomalies it pre- 
1695. sents embarrass the judgment in forming an estimate of its 
failings and its virtues. That he was inordinately ambitious, 
no one can deny ; and that he was not over-burdened with 
principle, his whole life proves. Yet, from the gracefulness of 
his person and the politeness of his address, he possessed in a 
remarkable degree the power of influencing those who were sus- 
ceptible to flattery, and of imposing upon those least acquainted 
with his true disposition ; though there were some whom, with 
all the " uncommon elegancies and charms of his conversation," 
he was unable to deceive. It is often the case with such men 
that religion is used as a cloak to conceal their vices, or rather 
to invest them with an air of respectability ; and there may 
have been, with Mr. Dudley, that commingling of fervor and 
respect to the forms of godliness often witnessed in minds of a 
worldly stamp, while, at the same time, judged by the standard 
which raises spirit above forms, he may have been lacking in 
the constituents of genuine piety, however zealous and devoted 
as a religionist. l Let it not be supposed, however, that he was 
destitute of good qualities. He was frugal in his habits, gen- 
tlemanly in his manners, accomplished as a scholar, and talented 
as a lawyer ; and in his private relations he was affectionate to 
his children, affable to his servants, and agreeable in his ad- 
dress. Few men are without friends ; and Mr. Dudley had 
his, who clung to him through life, from sympathy or policy. 
But his conduct while president of the colony was generally 
condemned ; and it is apparent, from his course when Andros 
came into power, that, if he had any regard for his country, he 
had more regard for himself ; that his patriotism was of the 
questionable kind which expends itself on one person ; and 
that it was not so absorbing a passion as to prevent him from 

1 His eulogist, indeed, says of him, land, and was himself a worthy patron 
" He truly honored and loved the reli- and example of them all." Boston 
gion, learning, and virtue of New Eng- News Letter, No. 834. 


loving the crumbs from the royal table. He was as honest as chap. 
one can be who loves himself and loves office above all things _^L. 
else, and lays his holocaust on the shrine of ambition. 1 1595. 

Upon the overthrow of Andros, Mr. Dudley was one whom 
the patriots of Boston seized and imprisoned. The result of 
that imprisonment has been elsewhere noticed. At his release 
he was commissioned chief justice of New York, and held that 1690. 
office for three years, when he returned to England. A royal- 1693. 
ist at heart, his sympathies did not flow in the same channel 
as those of the fathers of New England, with whom resistance 
to tyrants was obedience to God. Yet his situation iu Eng- 
1 land was far from pleasant. He was distant from his child- 
hood's home ; and, with all his faults, he loved the spot which 
had cradled his infancy. 2 Had he loved the institutions of his 
country as well as its soil ; had he drank in the free spirit 
which breathed from its hills ; had he identified his own inter- 
ests with the interests of the people, he would have been emi- 
nently fitted to have adorned the highest station ; and his 
appointment as governor would have been welcomed with joy. 
But he sought office for the power it conferred, and for the 
consequence it gave him. Hence he was constantly scheming 
to secure his return to America, and to secure it in such a way 
as to gratify his pride. But his plans were not immediately 
successful ; for Ashhurst, and Constantine Phips, the agents of 
the province in England, vigilant to defeat his appointment, 
drew up a bill, which was passed, for reversing the attainder 
of Leisler, the former governor of New York, and Milborne, 
his son-in-law, who had been barbarously executed with the 1691 

1 Mr. Dudley seems to have inner- State of New England," &c, printed 

ited a large share of his father's tena- at London in 1708, and reprinted in 

city of purpose, joined to an innate 1721. A curious correspondence be- 

pricle, and love of power, which led tween him and the Mathers may be 

him to esteem more highly the notice seen in 1 M. H. Coll. iii. 126-138, 

of the great, than to covet a place in which furnishes some insight into the 

the affections of the humble. See the character of both parties, 

pamphlet entitled "The Deplorable 2 Hutchinson, ii. 114. 


chap, concurrence of Dudley. 1 By this intervention he failed to 

^J^_ obtain the government of Massachusetts ; and having been 

1693. appointed lieutenant governor of the Isle of Wight by the 

interest of Lord Cutts, whose friendship he had secured, he 

continued to hold that office for a period of eight years, and 

was elected a member of the Parliament of William. 2 

The Earl of Bellamont was the next most prominent can- 

1695. didate for the governorship ; and during the summer he 

received the appointment, though his commission was not dated 

1697. until two years later, nor did he take up his residence in the 

Jun. 18. 

country until the year following, during which time the admin- 
istration continued in the hands of Mr. Stoughton. 3 Lord 
Bellamont was probably indebted for his appointment to the 
fact that he was supposed to be the most competent person to 
enforce obedience to the laws of trade, which had been so 
much neglected that the seas swarmed with buccaneers, who, in 
times of peace, made their depredations upon the Spanish ships 
and settlements, and brought their plunder to New York and 
other ports. 4 The adventures of Captain Kid give an air of 
romance to the proceedings of these freebooters ; and the treas- 
ures which were supposed to have been hidden by him on Long 
Island, and at other haunts, gave rise to many Quixotic enter- 
prises to search for concealed riches, conducted with the mys- 
tery with which the superstition of the age invested such 
deposits, watched as they were by spirits of darkness, whom it 
was necessary to circumvent by meeting at midnight, and ob- 
serving the ceremonies requisite on such occasions. 5 

1 I. Mather, in 1 M. H. Coll. iii. 3 MS. Continuation of Chalmers's 
127 ; Deplorable State of N. Eng. p. Polit. Annals ; Hutchinson, ii. 84, 96, 
5 ; Hutchinson, ii. 83, and note ; Ban- notes, and 103 ; Lodge's Peerage of 
croft's U. S. iii. 55 ; Hildreth's U. S. Ireland, i. 390, where is a notice of 
ii. 185. On the other side of this sub- the earl ; Smith's N. Y. 150, ed. 1814 ; 
ject, see the " Modest and Impartial N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, iv. 266-273 ; 
Narr. of several Grievances and great Dunlap's N. York, i. 229 ; Drake's 
Oppressions to the Inhab's of N. Y. Hist. Boston, 516, 517. 

under Leisler," in Lib. Mass. Hist. 4 Chalmers, Revolt, i. 269, 279. 

Soc, shelf 3, vol. 8, tract 4. 5 Hutchinson, ii. 83, 84, 109-1 13 j 

2 Boston News Letter, No. 834, for Dunlap's N. York, i. 231, 232. 
April 4-11, 1720 j Hutchinson, ii. 114. 


Finally, the new governor embarked to assume the duties of chap. 
his office ; but as his commission included New York as well ^^^ 
as Massachusetts, 1 he touched first at the port of New York, 2 1697. 
where he was waited upon by a committee from Massachusetts, Apr. 2. 
who tendered him the congratulations of the people upon his 
arrival. During his residence in that province, he was fre- 
quently consulted by the magistrates of Massachusetts, all 
matters of importance were communicated to him, and his 
advice and direction were generally followed ; but the admin- 
istration of the government continued in the name of the lieu- 
tenant governor, as commander-in-chief. 3 It is not improbable 
that the cordiality with which Lord Bellamont was welcomed 
by the Bay Province arose, in part, from the joy of the people 
in escaping from the rule of Dudley, who was nearly as obnox- 
ious as the memorable Kirke. Certain it is that the new gov- 
ernor was so desirous to conciliate esteem, that he maintained 
a constant correspondence with Mr. Cooke, whose election as 
a councillor had been opposed by Governor Phips, but allowed 
by Mr. Stoughton. By this step he secured the cooperation 
of that gentleman ; and he is said to have had more confidence 
in Cooke than in Stoughton, who was ever, at heart, attached 
to the Dudley party. 4 

Before the arrival of Lord Bellamont in America, a step was 
taken by the English government pregnant with importance in 
its bearings upon the colonies. This was the organization of * 696 - 

r s May 15. 

a Board of Trade and Plantations, consisting of a president 
and seven members, known as the " lords of trade, 77 who suc- 
ceeded to the authority first exercised by the Council for Trade 
and Foreign Plantations, and afterwards by the plantation 
committees of the privy council. This board, whose powers 
were somewhat extensive, continued till towards the close of 

1 New Hampshire was likewise in- 3 Mass. Rec's, and Hutchinson, ii. 
eluded. Hutchinson, ii. 84. 103. 

2 N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, iv. 302 ; 4 Hutchinson, ii. 103. 
Dunlap, N. York, i. 229; Holmes, 

Am. Ann. i. 468. 


chap, the American revolution to exercise an oversight of the affairs 
^^_ °f tne colonies ; yet as it had neither a voice in the delibera- 
1696. tions of the cabinet, nor access to the king, and was often 
controlled in its movements by interested parties without, its 
course tended to involve the colonies in ever-increasing con- 
fusion. 1 

Concurrently with the establishment of this board, the laws 
of trade were revived, new and more stringent regulations 
were adopted, and, to effect their execution in the most thor- 
ough manner, the paramount authority of Parliament was 
asserted. An oath was likewise imposed on the governors of 
the several provinces obliging them to enforce these acts ; all 
statutes in conflict with the same, past or future, were declared 
void ; officers of the revenue, whose number was increased, 
were invested with the same powers possessed by the like 
officers in England ; and the persevering Randolph was in- 
trusted with the duties of surveyor general, as a reward for 
his loyalty. 2 

It is surprising that the statesmen of England had not the 
wisdom to foresee the consequences which must inevitably result 
from the adoption of such measures. The experience of the 
past seems to have been lost on them. How could they expect 
that a people who had uniformly resisted encroachments from 
abroad, and who had denied in the most express terms the 
right of Parliament to legislate adversely to their interests, 
should now quietly acquiesce, and bow their necks meekly to 

1 Chalmers, MS. Contin. Polit. Ann. guardians of the national interests, as 

Pt. LI. ; Anderson, Hist. Com. ii. 622, the patrons of the colonies as the sup- 

623 ; Chalmers, Revolt, i. 269, 270 ; porters of the commercial system of 

Grahame, i. 561 ; Dummer's Defence, Britain, though their success hath not 

44, 46 ; New York Colon. Doc'ts, iii. been always equal to their intentions 

xiii. et seq. ; Bancroft's U. S. iii. 104, and their efforts, because their power 

iv. 17 ; Hildreth's U. S. ii. 197. Chal- was not proportionate to the extent 

mers, of course, applauds the action of their will." Revolt, ii. 43. 
of the Board of Trade, for he was a 2 Chalmers, MS. Contin. Political 

pleader against the colonies. Hence Ann. Pt. II., and Revolt, i. 272, 273 ; 

he says. "Of this respectable commis- Acts 7 and 8 W. and M. chap. 22 ; 

sion it has ever been the praise that Bancroft's U. S. iii. 104, 105 ; Hil- 

they have exerted themselves as the dreth's U. S. ii. 197, 198. 


the yoke of subjection, without uttering a single remonstrance, chap. 
or without evincing the least displeasure ? But the experiment ^^ 
was to be tried ; and it had been resolved to enforce submis- 1696. 
sion, cost what it might Massachusetts, as usual, protested 
against the acts of the board ; and the merchants of Boston 1700. 
expressed " their indignation at the acts of navigation/ 7 and 
insisted, with the " spirit of pristine times," that " they were 
as much Englishmen as those in England, and had a right, 
therefore, to all the privileges which the people of England 
enjoyed." x 

Upon the arrival of Lord Bellamont at Boston, he was 1699. 
received with unusual respect. 2 Condescending, affable, and 
courteous in his manners, he was admirably fitted to ingratiate 
himself with the people. If he was flattered by the attentions 
which he received, he had the good sense to conceal it, and 
in all things conducted with that wise moderation which 
marks the man of the world, acquainted with its foibles, and 
willing to humor them for his personal benefit. " We should 
treat these gentlemen well, for they give us our bread," was 
his language to his wife ; 3 and he acted accordingly. An 
Episcopalian in England, he was enough of a Congregation- 
alist in America to attend with becoming reverence the weekly 
lecture at Boston ; and if he professed great esteem for the 
clergy of the metropolis, it was because he was sensible they 
had the ears of the people. The prudent flatters whom he 
wishes to win. 4 

In consequence of this temporizing complaisance of the gov- 
ernor, he became generally popular. If his inclination led 
him to side with the opposers of Dudley, his prudence pre- 
vented him from neglecting his friends. Hence there was 

1 Chalmers, Revolt, i. 284. 31, 1699, was printed by Bartholo- 

2 For a sketch of the ceremonies mew Green, on a small folio sheet of 
oa this occasion, see Grahame, ii. 10; four pages, signed by L Mather, for 
j^Jlen's Biog. Diet, art Bellingham. himself and his brethren ; and the 

3 Hutchinson, ii. 107. speech of the governor, dated May 29, 

4 The address of the ministers of was printed by the same house. 
Boston to his excellency, dated May 

VOL. II. 5 


chap, harmony in the councils of the province. "Every thing moved 
^^ on quietly and smoothly. His lordship, inieed, had the van- 

1699. ity of caste ; and, presuming from his official position that he 
was entitled to lead in the government, and, like a second 
Atlas, bear the chief burden of the state, he concerned himself 
directly in the debates of the court, proposed all business, and 
frequently recommended bills which he wished to have passed. 
But the court took good care to stand upon their reserved rights, 
and refused, in some cases, to pass objectionable bills, on the 
ground that " they were too much cramped in their liberties 
already, and they would be great fools to abridge, by a law 
of their own, the little that was left them." 1 Yet all was 
done good naturedly, without giving offence ; and it is a 
proof of the popularity of his excellency that, though but a 
small sum had been assigned for the support of former gov- 
ernors, the grants of the General Court, during his stay in 
the province, amounted to the sum of twenty-five hundred 
pounds, lawful money — about eight thousand dollars of the 
currency of the United States. 2 

The administration of Lord Bellamont was exceedingly 

1700. brief ; for the year after his arrival he left for New York, 
1700-i. where he died in the following March. 3 By this event the 

charge of the government again devolved upon Mr. Stough- 
ton ; but he took the chair with great reluctance. His ad- 
vanced age and declining health prompted him to seek for 

1701. ease and retirement ; and four months after he, too, was num- 
y " bered with the dead. 4 

Upon the receipt in England of the intelligence of the death 
of Governor Bellamont, Mr. Dudley renewed his solicitations 
for the office of chief magistrate, and this time with better 
success. By fair promises to gentlemen in England and 

1 Chalmers, Eevolt, i. 283, and MS. 4, 5 ; Hutchinson, ii. 109 ; Chalmers, 
Continuation of his Polit. Ann. Revolt, i. 283. 

2 Mass. Rec's; Collection of Pro- 3 Hutchinson, ii. 114; Dunlap's 
ceedings of Gen. Court, ed. 1729, pp. N. York, i. 243, 244. 

4 Hutchinson, ii. 117. 


America, and by his conduct during the probationary period chap 
which had elapsed from his former rejection, he had ingrati- ^^ 
ated himself into favor, especially with the dissenting clergy ; 1701. 
and by his professions of piety he had succeeded in enlisting 
the sympathies of Cotton Mather, who waived all objections 
to his appointment, and even wrote a letter to the king favor- 
ing his cause. 1 But his majesty professed an unwillingness to 
confirm his appointment while he was obnoxious to the peo- 
ple. A petition was accordingly procured from several of the 
merchants in New England, and others then resident in Lon- 
don ; and as this obviated the scruples of the king, his com- 
mission passed the seals a few months before the death of the 
monarch, and was renewed by Queen Anrie upon her accession 1701-02. 

Mar. 8. 

to the throne. 2 

Thus Mr. Dudley reached the summit of his ambition. He 
would be the first man in Massachusetts rather than the sec- 
ond in England. 3 On his arrival, he was received with cere- 1702. 

& ' Jun.ll 

monious respect even by his opponents. Winthrop, Cooke, 
Hutchinson, Foster, Addington, Russell, Phillips, Brown, Sar- 
gent, and others of the council which imprisoned him in 1689, 
were of the council at his return in 1702. They had no desire 
to remind him of the past-; and it would not, perhaps, have 
been politic for them to have done so ; but he had not forgot- 
ten it, and this they soon felt. 

At the first election, when the list of councillors was pre- 1703. 
sented for confirmation, the names of five were stricken from l ay * 
the list. Cooke, Sargent, Oakes, Saffin, and Bradford, were 
those upon whom the stroke of decapitation fell ; and, how- 
ever acceptable these gentlemen were to the people, it was 
enough for his excellency that they were objectionable to 

1 Deplorable State of N. Eng.,&c, send him to England as agent, in 
p. 6; Hutchinson, ii. 114, 115, and hope of his appointment. Hutchin- 
notes ; 1 M. H. Coll. iii. 128, 129. son, ii. 120. 

2 Hutchinson, ii. 115, 116. The 3 Hutchinson, ii. The queen's in- 
province would have preferred Wait structions to Mr. Dudley may be seen 
Winthrop for governor, and voted to in 3 M. H. Coll. ix. 10 i. 


chap, him. 1 But if the governor, instead of Sejanus, chose to be Tibe- 
^^ rius, he was soon made sensible that he was not omnipotent, 

1702. and that, if he was capable of governing without a prompter, 
and had the disposition of offices at his command, he could not 

July, delegate the affections of the people. In the summer of 1702, 
he visited the eastward, to negotiate with the Indians and 

1703. view Fort Pemaquid : and in the following summer, he made 

J un. 20. 

a second visit, and, meeting at Casco delegates from the Indian 
tribes, confirmed the league which had been previously made 
with them. The gentlemen who accompanied him on these 
journeys were not appointed by the court, but were selected 
by Mr. Dudley from among his friends ; and, as he had been 
instructed by the queen to insist upon the rebuilding of the 
fort at Pemaquid, and had promised to effect that object, at 
his return his friends reported in favor of that measure, and 
the council accepted their report ; but the house refused con- 
currence. 2 
1705. Two years later the question was again brought before the 
house ; but as the governor had seen fit a second time, not- 

1704. withstanding the remonstrance of the house, to reject Cooke 
and Sawyer, who had been elected to the council, and had 

1705. now negatived the choice of Oakes as speaker, that body, 
indignant at his interference, was in no mood to gratify his 
wishes, and refused to consent either to rebuild the fort at 
Pemaquid, or to contribute to the support of the fort at 
Piscataqua, or to establish the salaries of the principal officers 
of the government — all which subjects he had commended to 
their attention. 3 

1 Mass. Rec's ; Hutchinson, ii. 124 3 Mass. Rec's ; Collection of Pro- 
-126 ; Chalmers, Revolt, i. 329 ; 3 ceedings of Gen. Court, ed. 1729, pp. 
M. H. Coll. vii. 230. 15-22 ; Hutchinson, ii. 137-140 ; 

2 Mass. Rec's ; Collection of Pro- Chalmers, Revolt, i. 329, 332. The 
ceedings of Gen. Court, ed. 1729, pp. house refused, so early as June 25, 
9, 12, 16 ; Hutchinson, ii. 124, 125 ; 1702, to settle a salary upon the gov- 
Chalmers, Revolt, i. 315, 328 ; 3 M. ernor. Collection of Proceedings of 
H. Coll. vi. 247 ; Williamson's Me., Gen. Court, ed. 1729, p. 6. 

ii. 34 ; N. H. Hist. CoU. ii. 236. 


The majority of the people had always believed that the chap. 
sympathies of Mr. Dudley were wholly with the court party ; ^^ 
and that his professions of regard for the liberties of America 1705. 
were but a specious pretence. Cotton Mather, too, who had 
waived his objections to his appointment, had become suspi- 
cious of the sincerity of his professions of piety, and believed 
him to be at heart as arbitrary as ever, and as readily disposed 
to deeds of oppression. 1 And there was much in his own con- 
duct, and in the conduct of his family, which justified such 
suspicions. "This country," wrote Paul Dudley, the son of 1703-4. 

Jan. 12. 

the governor, and the attorney-general of the province, in a 
letter to a " dear kinsman " in England, — " this country will 
never be worth living in for lawyers and gentlemen, till the 
charter is taken away. My father and I sometimes talk of 
the queen's establishing a court of chancery here. I have 
wrote about it to Mr. Blathwayt." 2 

Is it surprising that an attempt was made to supplant one 
so obnoxious, and that a man of inferior ability was preferred 
in his stead ? 3 Complaints of " unheard-of corruptions and 1707. 
oppressions, and unjust and partial practices n were instituted ; 
pamphlets were published in London charging Mr. Dudley 1708. 
with "treasonable correspondence;" and a petition was for- 
warded to the queen, signed by a number of respectable 
citizens, professing their belief in the truth of these charges, 
and requesting his removal. 4 The council and house, indeed, 
apparently non-concurred in this petition, and declared their 
belief that the accusations were " scandalous and wicked," and 
that they were " sensible of his indefatigable care and protection 
of her majesty's good subjects ; " but these votes were alleged 

1 Hutchinson, ii. 135, 148, notes 5 3 Sir Charles Hobby was the per- 
1 M. H. Coll. iii. 129. Chalmers, Re- son proposed ; Hutchinson, ii. 140. 
volt, i. 329, acknowledges that Mr. Grahame, ii. 15, 16, thinks the politi- 
D. " looked to England for support." cians of the piwdnce went a little too 

2 Deplorable State of N. Eng. pp. far in this matter ; but he may not 
8, 9 ; P. Dudley's Original Letter to have seen all the evidence in the case. 
W. Wharton, printed at London, with 4 Deplorable State of N. Eng., &c. ; 
some Necessary Queries ; Hutchinson, Hutchinson, ii. 145, note ; Chalmers, 
iL 140; 1 M. H. C. 3, 126. Revolt, L 334. 


chap, to have been obtained by disgraceful and coercive measures ; 
^J^ and the uncompromising Sewall, satisfied that there was some- 

1707. thing wrong, entered his dissent, and assigned as his reasons 

Nov. 25. 

that the vote was hastily pushed by the governor, who was 
the interested party ; that the charges had not been sufficiently 
investigated ; and that the censure of the petitioners might be 
of " ill consequence to the province in the time to come, by 
discouraging persons of worth and probity to venture in 
appearing for them, though the necessity should be ever so 
great." 1 Mr. Dudley, however, had the address to allay the 
storm which would have overwhelmed most men ; and though 
Mr. Povey, the lieutenant governor, who had returned to Eng- 
land, wrote him that he must " prepare to receive the news of 
his being superseded/ 7 the matter was not further prosecuted, 
and the governor escaped. 2 

For the next few years, the war with the French so en- 
grossed the attention of the people that their political tran- 
quillity was but little disturbed. The party opposed to the 

1708. governor, still pursued in England their schemes for his remo- 
val ; but in the province, by the policy of rejecting his oppo- 
nents and favoring his friends, the party in his favor was 
perceptibly strengthening. Not that there was in reality an 
increase of confidence in his integrity or patriotism ; but 
many were wearied with the- protracted struggle, and those 
who still held out found little encouragement at home, and less 
countenance abroad. 3 

1 Deplorable State of N. Eng., &c, ed at as follows : " Besides the caress- 
§ ii. iii. ; Hutchinson, ii. 146, 147, es of the table, which are enough to 
notes. Comp. 1 M. H. Coll. 3, 131. dazzle an honest countryman, who 
Brown and Pain, two other members thinks every body means what he 
of the council, are said to have depre- speaks, the influence which prefer- 
cated, with Sewall, the haste with ments and commissions have upon lit- 
which the vote was passed in that tie men is inexpressible. It must 
body ; and in the house, it was twice needs be a mortal sin to disoblige a 
negatived by a majority of the mem- governor, that has enabled a man to 
bers, before it was carried through. command a whole country town, and 

2 Deplorable State of N. Eng., &c. ; to strut among his neighbors with the 
Hutchinson, ii. 147, 148, andjiotes. illustrious titles of, our major, and the 

3 The methods adopted by Mr. captain, or his worship." Deplorable 
Dudley to win popular favor are hint- State, &c, 20. 


The change in the ministry, which took place in England at chap. 
this time, caused some excitement in Massachusetts, and ren- IIL 
dered it necessary to choose a new agent. Sir William 1709. 
Ashhurst was first appointed, but he refused to accept ; upon 
which Jeremiah Dummer was chosen, and accepted. Contrary 
to the expectation of his constituents, however, the new agent 
devoted himself to the persons in power, was employed by Lord 
Bolingbroke in some secret negotiations, and had assurances of 
promotion to a place of profit; but the death of the queen 
blasted his hopes. In the mean time, Mr. Dudley, whose rule 
it was to gain his enemies, for he was sure of his friends, 1 suc- 
ceeded in removing the prejudices of Sir William Ashhurst, 
and in securing his favor ; and Mr. Dummer also espoused his 
cause. Mr. Phips, the old agent, had for some time been 
friendly to him, and the governor would gladly have continued 
him in office had he been acceptable to the ministry ; but as he 
was not, he was obliged to consent to his removal. Thus Mr. 
Dudley had powerful allies in England ; and, as he had man- 
aged at home with unusual address, he felt quite secure in the > 
position he held. 2 

The latter years of Mr. Dudley's administration were dis- 1710 


turbed by a controversy upon the currency of the province. 1710. 
The wars with France, which had continued for a period of 
nearly twenty years, had not only burdened England with 
debt, but had impoverished her colonies, and weakened their 
resources. The bills of credit, issued in 1690, had depreciated 
in value ; and a large part of the specie in circulation had been 
drained from the country for the payment of its debts. This 
stringency in money affairs was seriously felt ; and merchants 
and politicians were busily employed in devising schemes to 
remedy the evil. A few advocated a return to the gold and 
silver currency, the only sure basis of value in their estima- 
tion ; others were in favor of the formation of a private bank j 

1 Hutchinson, ii. 171. 2 Hutchinson, ii. 169-171. 

72 close of Dudley's administration. 

chap, and a third party argued for the establishment of a public 


bank. A majority of the council favored the public bank ; but 
1710 the house was divided in opinion, the influence of the Boston 


1715. members and others from the country rather inclining them to 
favor the private bank. The controversy was wide spread, and 
the whole community was agitated by it. Towns, parishes, 
and families took part in the discussion ; and for a long time 
it seemed doubtful which way it would be decided. The 
party for the public bank finally prevailed ; and a loan of fifty 
thousand pounds in bills of credit was agreed to by the Gen- 
eral Court, which were placed in the hands of trustees, and 
loaned for five years, at five per cent, interest, one fifth of the 
principal to be paid in yearly. 1 This disposition of the ques- 
tion was far from satisfying all. If it diminished the number 
of the friends of the private bank, it increased their zeal ; and 
the resentment which defeat awakened was not only lasting, 
but it seriously affected the politics of the country. 

The close of Mr. Dudley's administration was more quiet 
than might have been anticipated. Upon the death of the 

1714. queen, and the accession of George I., of the house of Hanover, 2 

Aug. 1. 

it was expected that he would be displaced, and a new gov- 
ernor appointed ; and he seems to have prepared himself to 
submit with composure. Some change had taken place in 
public feeling towards him ; and many, who had been his 
greatest opposers, had been won to his interests. His friends, 
therefore, were in the ascendant, and would have probably 
acquiesced in the continuance of his government. As if, too, 
to do all in his power to conciliate, he had consented to con- 

1 Province Laws, ed. 1726 ; Hutch- for his excellency the governor, and 
inson, ii. 187-190. council, with a great many other gen- 

2 See Boston News Letter, Xos. tlemen, at his house in Hanover St., 
544, 545. "On Thursday evening, where were drank his majesty's health, 
September 23," says this document, the prince, royal family, 6zc. the house 
(No. 545,) " Mr. Jonathan Belcher, a being all over very finely illuminated." 
gentleman who had been twice at the Mr. Belcher, whose advertisements 
court of Hanover, on the occasion of often appear in the News Letter, was a 
his majesty King George's accession, dealer in hardware, and he was after- 
made a very splendid entertainment wards governor of the province. 


firm the election ,of Mr. Cooke, whom he had so often nega- chap. 
tived. Age was likewise creeping upon him ; he was close n- ^ w 
upon the bounds of threescore and ten ; and few are so indif- 1715. 
ferent to what may be thought of them after they are dead, as 
not to desire to be remembered with kindness. 1 Hence his last 
days were his best ; and when he vacated his office, and went Nov. 
to his rest, though he left behind many who could neither for- 1720. 
get his oppressions nor forgive his misconduct, he left also 
many who preserved their affection for his family and poster- 
ity, and who spoke of him in terms of general respect. His 
faults were the faults of an ambitious mind. He can hardly 
be ranked among the champions of liberty, and was far more 
a lover of royalty than of freedom. 2 

1 See his letter written in 1716, af- The scholar, the divine, the philoso- 
ter the appointment of Shute, in 4 M. pher, and the lawyer all met in him. 
H. Coll. ii. 308. He was visibly formed for govern- 

2 The eulogist of Governor Dudley ment ; and under his administration, 
says of him, " He was a man of rare by the blessing of Almighty God, we 
endowments and shining accomplish- enjoyed great quietness, and were 
ments ; a singular honor to his coun- safely steered through a long and dif- 
try, and in many respects the glory of ficult French and Indian war." Bos- 
it. He was early its darling, always ton News Letter, No. 834. 

its ornament, and in his age its crown. 



chap. France and England were early competitors in the Ameri- 
^^^ can seas. Their hereditary hatred, which had existed for 
1692. centuries, had been deepened and intensified by repeated col- 
lisions ; and upon the discovery of the new world each claimed 
a portion of its territory, assumed jurisdiction over the country, 
and attempted its colouization. Differences of religion in- 
creased their animosity. Catholic France denounced England 
as heretic and apostate. Protestant England retorted the 
ecclesiastical anathemas of its neighbor. The nations were 
so opposite in their language and habits, their philosophy and 
government, their opinions and customs, that no very friendly 
feelings could be expected to subsist between them. They 
were rivals in the old world, and rivals in the new ; rivals in 
the East Indies, and rivals in the West ; rivals in Africa, and 
rivals in Europe ; rivals in politics, in commerce, and the arts ; 
rivals in ambition for conquest and supremacy. Each sought 
its own aggrandizement at the expense of the other ; each 
claimed to be superior to the other in the elements of national 
glory and the appliances of national strength. The gayety 
of the former was in contrast with the gravity and sobriety 
of the latter. The impetuosity of the one was the counterpart 
to the coolness and cautiousness of the other. Time, instead 
of softening, had hardened their prejudices ; and for a century 
and a half from the date of the establishment of the first 
1603 French colony at the north, the two nations, with but slight 
1763. interruptions, were constantly in the attitude of opposition 
and defiance. ( 74 > 


England, without doubt, preceded France in the career of chap 
discovery ; and the voyage of the Cabots gave to the former ^J3^ 
her claims to the regions visited by their vessels. But the 1497. 
interval which elapsed between the voyage of the Cabots and 
the earliest authenticated voyage of the French was exceedingly 1504. 
brief ; and the two nations, if not contemporaries, were equals 
in the race — neither being able to boast of any great advan- 
tage over the other, and neither, at the opening of the sev- 
enteenth century, being able to point to any permanent settle- 1602. 
ment northward of forty degrees as the fruit of its enterprise. 
Matched quite evenly in maritime skill, it was not until near . 
the close of the reign of Elizabeth that the scale turned in 
favor of England. Yet under James I. the balance of power 
could hardly be said to incline very strongly towards England ; 
and France, undaunted by the prowess of her rival, continued, 
with indomitable courage, to prosecute her plans ; succeeded, 
even before England, in settling a colony to the north ; and 
the foundations of Quebec were laid before the landing of the 1620. 
Pilgrims, and before the settlement of Boston. 1630. 

In consequence of this rivalry of England and France, the 
colonies at the north were early involved in difficulties and 
contentions ; and these difficulties increased as the conflict of 
interests brought them into collision. Hence before the con- 
federacy of 1643, apprehensions of hostilities were entertained 1632-43. 
in Massachusetts ; and from that date to the union of the col- 
onies of Plymouth and Massachusetts, these apprehensions 1692. 
continued to disturb the people, and resulted, at length, in vig- 
orous action on the part of the English to uproot their rivals, 
and drive them from their possessions. 

If New England was the " key of America," x New France » 
might, with equal propriety, claim to be the lock ; for Canada, 
with the chain of fresh water lakes bordering upon its terri- 
tory, opened a communication with the distant west ; and the 

1 3 M. H. Coll. i. 100. 


chap. Jesuit missionaries, Marquette, Joliet, La Salle, and Hennepin, 
^_J^ by their explorations on the Mississippi, the " Father of Waters/' 
1673-98 brought the vast region watered by that stream and its tribu- 
taries under the dominion of the Bourbons, and backed all 
British America with a cordon of military posts, hovering upon 
the outskirts of the northern settlements with their savage 
allies, greatly to the alarm of the English, who were exposed 
to their depredations, and from whose incursions they could 
defend themselves only by an expenditure of money and strength 
which impoverished them in their weakness and imperilled 
their safety. 

Behold, then, the two nations, rivals for centuries, upon the 
eve of a fresh struggle upon the new field of action. Acadia 
1629. and Canada were wrested from the French before the settle- 
1632. ment of Boston, but were restored by the treaty of St. Ger- 
1654. ' main. 1 Acadia was again conquered under the commonwealth, 
1669. but by the treaty of Breda was subsequently restored. 2 Under 
1666. Charles II. the conquest of Canada was a second time at- 
tempted ; but the difficulties of the enterprise prevented its 
1686. . success. 3 Again, under James II., a third attempt for its 
conquest was made, but with a like want of success. 4 The 
accession of William of Orange to the English throne was 
1689. the signal for a new war with France, growing out of a 
" root of enmity," which Marlborough described as " irrecon- 
cilable to the government and the religion" of Great Brit- 
ain ; 5 and on the occurrence of this war, a fourth expedition 
to Canada was projected, which was attended with important 

1 Hazard, i. 285-287 ; Charlevoix, 12, 3d ed. ; Importance of Cape Bre- 
vol. iii. ; Importance of Cape Breton, ton, &c, p. 17 ; 3 M. EL Coll. i. 233 ; 
&c, 15, 16 ; 3 M. H. Coll. i. 232, and Haliburton's N. S. i. ; Beginning, Prog- 
vi. 215 ; Haliburton's Nova Scotia, ress, &c, of Late War, Lond. 1770, 
vol. i. ; Williamson's Me. vol. L ; 4to., p. 4 ; Williamson's Me. i. ; N. 
Bancroft's U. S. i. 335 ; Hildreth, H. Hist. Coll. i. 63. 
vol. i. 3 2 M. H. Coll. viii. 109. 

2 Palairet, Concise Description, p. 4 Bancroft's U. S. ii. 422. 
18, ed. 1755} Mems. Last War, p. 6 Bancroft's U. S. iii. 175. 

May 7. 


The settlers of New England, as Protestants, had, for a long chap. 
time, viewed with jealousy the insidious advances of their _^w 
Catholic neighbors at the north and at the west. In point of 1690. 
population, indeed, the English outnumbered the French at 
least ten to one. 1 It was not, therefore, in this respect that 
their power was dreaded. They were more formidable from 
their influence over the Indians within their borders. Their 
missionaries, with a zeal which has been highly applauded, had 
planted the cross in every village, and had scores of converts 
in every tribe ; 2 yet, with the craft and duplicity which distin- 
guished the Jesuits, instead of seeking to allay the brutal 
ferocity of the savages, they had instilled into them their own 
hatred of the English and their religion. The natural aversion 
of the tribes to the progress of the white race facilitated their 
plans ; and no mass so vast and so combustible ever waited 
long for a spark to inflame it. As rivals in the fur trade, and 
rivals in the fisheries, collisions had frequently arisen ; and the 
fires of discord were smouldering in New England, and in 
Acadia and Canada. 

In one respect, the difference in the condition of the colonies 
was of striking significance. The colonies of the French were 
planted by the crown, and were founded and fostered for the 
extension of its dominions, and the increase of its commerce. 
Their dependence upon the parent state was direct and imme- 
diate ; and their connection with the propagation of the Cath- 
olic faith was open and avowed. These colonies were parts 

1 Bradstreet, in 3 M. H. Coll. viii. 2 Parkman, Conspiracy of Pontiac, 

334, computes the population of New 49, says, " The zealous fathers reckon- 

France in 1680 at 5000 men. Hali- ed the number of conversions by the 

burton, N. S. i. 68, estimates it, in number of baptisms; and, as LeClercq 

1690, at 5815 souls. But Bancroft, observes, with no less truth than can- 

U. S. iii. 177, estimates it, in 1688, at dor, an Indian would be baptized ten 

11,249 persons. The tract entitled times a day for a pint of brandy or a 

" The Importance of Cape Breton," pound of tobacco." Bancroft, U. S. 

&c, published in 1746, p. 102, con- iii. c. 20, gives a characteristically 

tains extracts from a letter of M. Vau- glowing description of the progress of 

dreuil, estimating the soldiers of New the Jesuit missions, equalling in fer- 

France, in 17 14, at 4480. See also vor the accounts of the Jesuits them- 

Charlevoix, iv. 150. selves. 


chap, of the dominion of France, controlled by the government, and 
^^ subject to its decrees. The colonies of the English were more 
1690. independent. Established for religion's sake, they were founded 
by the people ; and the charters, which were the sanction of 
their authority, were the chief bond of union between them 
and the parent state. They looked less abroad for aid, and 
relied more upon their own resources. Living within them- 
selves, and shaping their own destiny in a measure, it was 
always with reluctance that they submitted to interference in 
their affairs ; and up to this date they had gone on, with very 
little help from England, settling their own disputes and fight- 
ing their own battles. 

The offer of colonial neutrality made by France at the open- 
ing of the war being rejected by England, the project of the 
invasion of Acadia and Canada was conceived by Massachu- 
setts ; and, in the winter of the same year that Andros was 

1689. overthrown, the General Court, inspired with dazzling dreams 
of conquest, meditated an attack upon Port Royal and Quebec. 
Sir William Phips, afterwards governor of the province, and 
a native of Pemaquid, had recently arrived in the country 
under his appointment as high sheriff for New England ; and, 
as he was an experienced seaman, the command of the colonial 
forces was intrusted to his care. Eight small vessels and 
seven or eight hundred men constituted the armament sent to 

1690. P°rt Royal ; and sailing from Boston early in the spring, in 
i£j 10! aDOU t two weeks he reached his destination ; the fort surren- 
dered with but little resistance, yielding plunder sufficient to 
pay expenses ; Sir William took possession of the whole sea 
coast from Port Royal to New England ; 1 and three weeks 

Maj 30. later he returned to Boston. 

The success of this enterprise encouraged the prosecution of 
the design upon Canada ; and the expedition was hastened 

1 MS. Continuation of Chalmers's N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, iii. 720, and ix. 
Polit. Ann. Pt. II. ; Mather, Life of 474 ? 475 ; Williamson's Me. i. 596. 
Phips, § 10 j Dummer's Defence, 29 ; 


by tne horrible ravages of the Indians and French upon the chap. 
frontier settlements, and by the desire of the colonists to com- ^^ 
mend themselves to the favor of the king, from whom they 
were expecting a renewal of their charter. So early as April, 1 1690. 

A^ril 1. 

a small vessel had been sent to England with despatches in- 
forming his majesty of the proposed expedition to Port Royal, 
and of the contemplated invasion of Canada, should it meet his 
approval, and praying for a supply of arms and ammunition, 
and a number of the king's frigates to attack the French by 
sea, while the forces of the colony attacked them by land. 
Engrossed by the war in Ireland, however, 2 the circumstances 
of the mother country were such that the request could not be 
complied with ; and Massachusetts, forming an immediate alliance 
with Connecticut and New York, at a "congress" held in the Mayi. 
latter colony determined to proceed on her own responsibility, 
and, while a land army of eight hundred men was to march by 
Lake Champlain to attack Montreal, her forces, consisting of 
upwards of thirty vessels, and about two thousand men, were 
to fall upon Quebec. 3 

It was late in the season when this fleet sailed from Nantas- Aug. 9. 
ket, and contrary winds delaj^ed its progress, so that it did not 
reach Quebec until the opening of autumn. Intelligence of the Oct. 5. 
proceedings of the troops from Connecticut and New York 
had, in the mean time, reached Montreal ; and the aged Fron- 
tenac, being informed by La Plaque, an Indian runner, that the 
Iroquois, the enemies of the French, were busy in constructing 
canoes on Lake George, prepared, without a moment's delay, 
for the defence of the place ; and placing the hatchet in the 
hands of La Plaque, and grasping in his own hands the death- 

1 MS. Letter of Governor Brad- the MS. Continuation of Chalmers's 
street to Lord Shrewsbury. Polit. Ann. Pt. II. 

2 On the 30th of May, Cooke and 3 MS. Continuation of Chalmers's 
Oakes requested of the committee of Polit. Ann. Mather, Life of Phips, 
plantations that a vessel should be §11, and Dummer, Defence, 30, say 
sent, &c. 3 N. Eng. Ent's, in the the land expedition consisted of 1000 
state paper office, bund. 5, quoted in English, from New York and Connec- 
ticut, and 1500 Indians. 


chap, dealing tomahawk, he chanted the war song and danced the 
IV - war dance as a pledge of cooperation in repelling the invaders. 1 

1690. But the alarm was premature ; for, by dissensions among the 
English, which ended in mutual recriminations, and other dis- 
appointments which paralyzed their strength, the land forces 
retreated, and fell back to Albany. Had it not been for this 
discomfiture, or had the fleet under Phips arrived three days 
earlier, the fate of Quebec would have been sealed. But the 
failure of the land expedition gave Frontenac time to rally ; 

Oct. 4. and, hastening to the post of honor at the Castle of St. Louis, 
by his orders M. de Ramsey and M. de Callieres mustered the 
militia of Three Rivers and the adjoining settlements, and 
marched to reenforce him with all possible despatch. 

Major Provost, the commandant at Quebec, had previously 
prepared for the defence of the town, so that it was only neces- 
sary to continue the works, and render them more tenable. A 
party under M. de Longueuil was accordingly sent down the 
river to watch the motions of the English, and prevent their 
landing ; two canoes were despatched by the Isle of Orleans 
to seek for the supply ships which were daily expected from 
France ; and the soldiers and militia were employed on the 
fortifications. The castle itself was, by its natural position, 
almost impregnable ; but for further security, lines of palisades, 
armed with small batteries, were formed round the crown of 
the lofty headland environing the town ; the gates were barri- 
caded with beams of timber, of massive size, and casks filled 
with earth ; cannon were mounted at every advantageous posi- 
tion ; and a large" windmill of solid masonry was filled up as 
a cavalier. The lower town was protected by two batteries, 
each of three guns ; and the streets leading up the steep, rocky 
face of the height were embarrassed with intrenchments and 
rows of chevaux-de-frise. With these arrangements completed, 
Frontenac awaited the approach of the fleet. 2 

Charlevoix, iii. 87 ; N. Y. Colon. 2 N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, ix. 455, 484, 
Doc'ts, ix. 455. 485. 


At daylight on the fifth of October the white sails of the chap. 
English ships were descried rounding the headland of Point Levi, ^_J3^ 
and crowding to the northern shore of the river near the vil- 1690. 
lage of Beauport. At ten o'clock they dropped anchor, lowered 
their canvas, and swung round with the tide. In this position 
they remained until the following morning, when Sir William. 
Phips, the commander-in-chief, despatched a messenger wit':: d 
summons to the French general imperiously demanding an un- 
conditional surrender in the name of King William. " Your 
answer positive in an hour, by your own trumpet, with the 
return of mine," were the closing words of the summons, " is 
required upon the peril that will ensue." * 

The officer who bore this summons was led blindfold through 
the town, and, on reaching the castle, was ushered into the 
presence of the aged Frontenac, who was surrounded by the 
Jesuit bishop, the intendant, and the military officers composing 
his council. " Read your message," was his direction to the 
envoy. It was read ; and at its conclusion the English officer, 
taking out his watch, 2 added, " It is now ten ; I await your 
answer for one hour." A burst of indignation greeted the 
close of this speech ; and Frontenac, with difficulty suppressing 
his own rage, exclaimed, " I know not King William ; but I 
know that the Prince of Orange is a usurper, who has violated 
the most sacred rights of blood and religion. He has de- 
stroyed the laws and privileges of the kingdom, and overthrown 
the English church ; and the Divine Justice will one day pun- 
ish him for his crimes." 3 Unmoved by this outburst of fury 
and passion, the officer requested a written answer to return 
to his chief. " I will answer him at the cannon's mouth," was 
the haughty reply ; and the conference ended.. 

On the return of the messenger an immediate attack was 

1 Charlevoix, iii. 115, 116; Mather, 3 Charlevoix, iii. 117, 118, and 
Life of Phips, § 11 j N. Y. Colon. Mather, Life of Phips, § 11, give an 
Doc'ts, ix. 455, 486. account of this interview. See also 

2 Charlevoix, iii., and the N. Y. N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, ix. 456, 486. 
Colon. Doct's, ix. 456. 

VOL. II. 6 


chap, determined ; and at noon on the eighth, thirteen hundred 

^JZi~ men * were embarked in the boats of the squadron, under the 
1690. command of Major Walley. These landed without opposition 
at La Canardiere, a little to the east of the St. Charles ; and, 
while the main body formed on the muddy shores, four compa- 
nies pushed on towards the town in skirmishing order to clear 
the way. But scarcely had they begun the ascent of the sloping 
banks when a galling fire was poured in upon them by two or 
three hundred of the Canadian militia, securely posted among 
the rocks and bushes on both flanks, and in a small hamlet to 
the right. The English were, for a moment, thrown into con- 
fusion ; but the officers rallying, and gallantly leading the way 
in person, the soldiers followed at a quick pace, and the French 
troops scattered. Major Walley then advanced with his whole 
force to the St. Charles, where he bivouacked for the night, 
while the enemy, for security, retreated to their garrisons. 

Oct 5 The same evening the four principal vessels of the squadron, 
having pushed boldly up the river, anchored before the town, 
and, opening their batteries, commenced firing. Their shot, 
however, which were chiefly directed against the lofty emi- 
nence of the upper town, fell almost harmless ; while a vigor- 
ous cannonade from the numerous guns of the fortress, under 
the skilful direction of St. Helene, replied with overwhelm- 
ing power. By eight o'clock the firing from the English ves- 
sels ceased, and on examination it was found that they had 
suffered severely from the enemy's shot, the rigging being badly 

Oct, 9. torn, and many of their best men slain. At daybreak the 
attack was renewed, but with no better success. The black 
muzzles of the cannon thrust from the bastions of the castle 
poured forth incessant volleys, while the guns of the ships, 
though constantly plied, made little impression. By noon, fully 
satisfied that the contest was hopeless, the assailants weighed 

4 Walley, in Hutchinson, i. 472, iii. 120, says 1500 ; and the N. Y. 
says 1300 men ; Mather, Life of . Colon. Doc'ts, ix. 457, 487, say 2000 
Phips, §11, says 1400 j Charlevoix, men. 


anchor, and, with the receding tide, floated their crippled vessels chap, 
out of the reach of the enemy's fire ; but not without the loss ^J^^ 
of the flag of the rear admiral, which was shot away, and, as 1690. 
it drifted towards the shore, was seized by a Canadian, who 
swam out into the stream and brought it in triumph to the 
castle, where, for many years, it was hung up as a trophy in 
the church of Quebec. 1 

The troops under Major Walley, through some unaccount- 
able delay, remained inactive during this combat with the 
squadron of Phips ; but at length, about noon, 2 they advanced 
upon the stronghold on the left bank of the St. Charles, pre- Oct 9 
ceded by their savage allies, who plunged into the bushes to 
prevent an ambuscade. For some time their march was unmo- 
lested ; but suddenly they were attacked by two hundred 
Canadian volunteers, under De Longueuil and St. Ilelene ; the 
Indians were swept away, the skirmishers were overpowered, 
and the English column itself was forced back by the impet- 
uous charge. Walley, however, rallied his reserve, and, by a 
quick movement, checked the enemy, and compelled them to 
retreat. Frontenac at this time was posted upon the opposite 
bank of the river, but evinced no disposition to cross the 
stream ; and at night the English troops, wearied from the 
fatigues of the day, depressed in spirits, and suffering from 
hunger, again bivouacked in the marshes, exposed to the frosts, 
which, at that season, are remarkably severe, and which still 
farther weakened them, and increased their distress. 

Undaunted by former reverses, on the following day Walley Oct. 10 
once more advanced upon the French positions, in the hope of 
breaching their palisades by the firing of his field pieces ; but 
the attempt was unsuccessful. His flanking parties were am- 
bushed, and the main body of his troops was repulsed by a 
severe fire from a fortified house on a commanding eminence, 

1 N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, ix. 457, 488 ; Doc'ts, ix. 457, says this was on the 
Hawkins, Picture of Quebec. • 20th, N. S., corresponding to the 

2 The account in the N. Y. Colon. 10th, 0. S. 


chap, to which the enemy had retreated, and which he ventured to 
J^^ attack. Utterly discouraged, the assailants withdrew ; and 
1690. reembarking in their vessels in the utmost confusion, exposed 
to the fire of the French, and abandoning their guns and the 
remnant of their stores, they prepared to return home, humbled 
and disappointed. Nor was the return voyage without dam- 
age; for, unacquainted with the passes of the river, nine vessels 
were wrecked among the shoals of the St. Lawrence. 1 
Nov. 19. The arrival of Sir William at Boston, with the remnant of 
his fleet, spread an unusual gloom over the community. He 
had gone forth rejoicing, sanguine of success ;. he returned bro- 
ken spirited, and with his men in a mutinous state, demanding 
their pay. The distress of the government, impoverished by 
Philip's war, and burdened with debt, was at its height ; and 
finding it impracticable to raise money by ordinary means, bills 
of credit were issued — the first paper currency of New Eng- 
land. 2 The joy of the French at the withdrawal of the assail- 
ants was unbounded ; and with a proud heart the gallant 
Frontenac penned the despatch which informed his master of 
the victory which had been achieved. To commemorate this 
victory a medal was struck, bearing the inscription, " Francia in 
novo orbe victrix : Kebeca liberata. — A. D., M. D. C. X. C. ; " 
and in the lower town a church was built, which was dedicated 
to " Notre Dame de la Victoire." 3 

Thus ended the Canada expedition of 1690 — disastrously to 
New England, which was humiliated by its defeat. The bor- 

1 On this expedition, see N. Y. Co- In 2 M. H. Coll. iii. 260, it is said 
Ion. Doc'ts ; Hutchinson, i. 352-356, the expedition brought Massachusetts 
and Walley's Narr. in ibid. 470-478 ; alone £50,000 in debt. The form of 
2 M. H. Coll. iii. 256-260 ; Dum- the bills issued at this time may be 
mer's Defence, 30. The original jour- seen in ibid. 261. See further Math- 
nal of Phips's expedition was given to er, Life of Phips, § 12. 

Admiral Walker, in 1711, who was 3 The letter of Frontenac is given 
then about to sail for Quebec, and was in full in N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, ix. 459 
lost, with other papers, on board the -462. Comp. also Warburton's Con- 
Edgar. Walker's Journal, 87. quest of Canada, i. c. 14. The sketch 

2 Dummer, Defence, 30, says the of Warburton is exceedingly graphic, 
cost of the expedition was £150,000 and I have been indebted to it for 
in money, and the loss of 1000 men. several particulars given in the text. 


der towns of the colonies were once more exposed to the forays chap. 
of the French ; and, from the exasperation of feeling which > ^ v _ w 
the invasion had awakened, nothing could be expected but a 1690. 
series of retaliatory incursions, marked with the barbarities 
inflicted by the Indians, who, involved in disputes relative to 
their lands, had wrongs of their own to avenge, as well as to 
prove their fidelity to their confederates. 1 The war at the 
eastward, however, which followed, and which occupied the 
time of the last ten years of the seventeenth century, belongs 
more properly to the history of Maine than to that of Massa- 
chusetts, although Maine soon became, and for a long period 
continued, a part of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, and 
was defended from the incursions of the Indians by the troops 
of the province, especially by the gallant Church, who had 
already signalized himself by his courage in Philip's war. 9 
That the sufferings of the people were severe, will be doubted 
by no one who reads the narratives of their perils and massacre. 
In a few cases, as at Groton, Billerica, Newbury, Lancaster, 1694-9& 
Andover, Haverhill, and elsewhere, the savages penetrated 
nearer Boston ; and the escape of Hannah Dustin, the heroine 
of Haverhill, is an episode of thrilling interest, showing what 
a mother will do, when torn from her family, to restore herself 
to the embraces of her husband and children. 3 

The defeat of the expedition of 1690 was probably attributa- 
ble to the want of concert on the part of the troops from Con- 

1 For an account of the origin of lish modes of transacting business, and 

these difficulties, see Belknap's N. H. each generation renewed the claims 

ii. 43 et seq. Tliis writer represents of its predecessor for a compensation, 

the inhabitants of the eastern parts of it will appear quite likely that a share 

New England as " not of the best of the blame of these disturbances is 

character for religion," and " ill adapt- to be attributed to the Indians, and to 

ed to engage the affections of the In- the French, who instilled into them 

dians by their example." Without their own hatred of the English, 
doubt, there is some truth in this 2 Life of Church, 
charge ; yet, when it is borne in mind 3 Hutchinson, ii. 80, 86, 100-102; 

that the people of New England gen- Neal's N. E. 553, 554 ; 3 M. H. Coll. 

erally purchased of the Indians the vi. 240 ; Mirick, Hist. Haverhill, 86- 

lands on which they settled, and the 95. 
latter had little knowledge of the Eng- 


chap, necticut and New York and those from Massachusetts, and the 
^^33^. failure of the supplies which were sought from England. Had 
1690. the forces which were levied to march to Montreal succeeded 
in reaching their destination, or had they remained at Lake 
George, Frontenac would have been sufficiently occupied to 
have prevented his relieving Quebec ; and had seasonable sup- 
plies been forwarded from the mother country, and the fleet 
under Phips arrived sooner before the fortress, while the gar- 
rison was small and the works were incomplete, the place 
would doubtless have speedily fallen into his hands, and Can- 
ada would have been conquered. But there was Hiismanage- 
ment on all hands in the conduct of the expedition ; and it 
seems to" have been predestinated that New England should 
not be delivered from the presence of the French at the north, 
until time had wrought the necessary changes which were to 
render the conquest of that country available for the promo- 
tion of still more important ends. Hence a new expedition, 

1692. projected two years later, and resolved to be prosecuted in the 

1693. following year, was attended with the like circumstances of 
mortification and defeat. 

England herself participated in this enterprise, and, by 
i692-93. advices from Mr. Blathwavt, the government was informed 

Feb. 20. 

that it had " pleased the king, out of his great goodness, and 
disposition for the welfare of all his subjects, to send a consid- 
erable strength of ships and men into the West Indies, and to 
direct Sir Francis Wheeler, the admiral, to sail to New Eng- 
land from the Caribbee Islands, so as to be there by the last 
of May or the middle of June at furthest, with a strength suffi- 
cient to overcome the enemy, if joined and seconded by the 
forces of New England." " There can never," continues the 
letter of the secretary, " be such an occasion for the people of 
New England to show their zeal for their religion and love to 
their king and country. His majesty has taken care, besides 
the ships of war, to send to you a thousand soldiers, if their 
number be not diminished by their service in the West Indies, 


under a commander who has looked the same enemy in the face, chap 

and will show an example worthy to be followed. Sir William ^ 

Phips, I suppose, will be at the head of the New England 1693. 
volunteers, and will readily acquiesce, according to the rules of 
war, in leaving the chief command as his majesty has deter- 
mined it." x 

Unfortunately for the success of these plans, the letter, which 
should have reached Boston by the first of April, did not arrive 
until July ; and the mortality which prevailed in the fleet dur- July, 
ing its stay in the West Indies was so great that, when the 
commander-in-chief, Sir Francis Wheeler, anchored off Nantas- j U n. 11. 
ket, — bringing himself the news of the projected invasion, — 
he had lost thirteen hundred out of twenty-one hundred sailors, 
and eighteen hundred out of twenty-four hundred soldiers. 
All thoughts of reducing Canada were therefore abandoned ; 
but a plan for another year was settled with the governor, the 
details of which were, that two thousand land forces should be 
sent from England to Canseau by the first of June, to be joined 1694. 
by two thousand from the colonies, and that the whole force 
should go up the St. Lawrence, divide, and simultaneously 
attack Montreal and Quebec. Changes in the government of 
the province, however, and other causes, prevented the execu- 
tion of this plan, whose success was problematical even if it had 
been attempted. 2 

But if the plans of the English for the reduction of Canada 1692. 
were doomed to disappointment, the plans of the French for 
the recovery of Acadia were more successful. For the first 
year after the conquest of that country, indeed, the French 
were as little concerned to regain, as the English were to 
retain, the possession of its territory ; nor was Massachusetts 

1 This letter, addressed to Increase 2 Burchett's Mems. of Transactions 

Mather, is given in Hutchinson, ii. 70, at Sea, ed. 1703, p. 173 ; Walker's 

note. The letter to Admiral Wheel- Journal, 32 ; Hutchinson, ii. 70-72 ; 

er, directing him to repair to the Harris, Voy. ii. 924; Holmes, Am. 

north, was dated November, 1692. Ann. i. 447. 
MS. Letter of Governor Phips. 


chap, able to bear the charge of a sufficient military force to keep its 
4- ^3l w inhabitants in subjection, though she issued commissions to 

1691. judges and other officers, and required the administration of 
the oath of fidelity. In the course of that year, authority was 
given to Mr. John Nelson, of Boston, who had taken an active 
part in the overthrow of Andros, and who was bound thither 
on a trading voyage, to be commander-in-chief of Acadia ; * but, 
as he neared the mouth of the St. John's, he was taken by Mon- 

Nov.26. sieur Villebon, who, under a commission from the French king, 
had touched at Port Royal, and ordered the English flag to be 

1692. struck, and the French flag to be raised in its place. The next 
year an attempt was made to dislodge Villebon, but without 
success ; and Massachusetts, convinced of her inability to 
keep the country, though unwilling to relinquish its jurisdic- 
tion, petitioned the crown that the province might be freed 
from further expense in the defence of Port Royal and St. 
John's, and that garrisons might be placed there at the national 

1696. charge. In the summer of 1696, Pemaquid was taken by the 
' French, under D 'Iberville and Castine, and the frontier of the 

dominion of France was extended into Maine; and by the 

1697. * treaty of the following year Acadia was re-ceded to France, 

and the English relinquished their claims to the country. 2 

The last year of " King William's war," as it was long 
termed in New England, was a year of especial alarm to the 
province, and rumors were rife that the French were on the eve 

1 Nelson, who was a moderate fered, and commanded him, on his 
Episcopalian, rendered important ser- allegiance, to remain ; but his noble 
vice to the province at this time, by reply was, " Please God I live, I'll go ; " 
communicating intelligence of the de- and go he did. The character of Nel- 
signs of the French and their contem- son was a marked one ; and, had he 
plated attacks. When he was taken sympathized in his religious opinions 
prisoner, he was sent to France, where with the dominant party, he would 
he was treated with the utmost rigor, doubtless have occupied a more con- 
being confined in the Bastile. Cir- spicuous place in our annals. MS. 
cumstances requiring his presence in notes communicated by E. H. Derby, 
England, he was at length liberated Esq. 

on parole, and, after transacting the 2 Mass. Rec's, v. 579 ; Hutchinson, 

business for which he left prison, he ii. 87-95 ; Williamson's Me. ii. 23 

prepared to return. The king inter- Bancroft's U. S. iii. 189. 


of fitting out a formidable fleet for the invasion of the colonies chap. 
and the conquest of New York. 1 The year previous, there had ^JlJ^ 
been intimations that an armament from Europe, joined by 1696. 
land forces from Canada, was to make a descent upon the 
coast ; and application had been made to the French mon- 1695. 
arch by the governor of Canada for ten or twelve men-of-war 
to be sent to encounter an English squadron, which was shortly 
expected to arrive ; but, as the intentions of the French court 
were principally to secure the possession of Newfoundland, and 
recover Acadia, — both which objects were accomplished, — no 
design was prosecuted upon Boston, nor was any particular 
alarm created by the expedition. 

The new expedition was more dreaded ; and for several 1697 
weeks the arrival of the French fleet was daily expected. It 
was supposed, on the part of France, that a strong squadron 
would be sent from England to recover the ports in Newfound- 
land, and great preparations were made for its defeat. Fron- 
tenac, the governor of Canada, though advanced in years, 
received orders to raise fifteen hundred men, in readiness to 
march at a moment's warning ; and the command of the French 
fleet, consisting of ten men-of-war, a galiot, and two frigates, 
was intrusted to the Marquis de Nesmond, an officer of great 
reputation, who was to leave Brest by the twenty-fifth of April A P r - 25 
at farthest, with his own vessels, to join those at Rochelle under 
Commodore de Magnon, and, with the utmost despatch, proceed 
to the Bay of Placentia, in Newfoundland, and from thence sail 
for Penobscot, first sending a packet boat to Quebec to inform 
Frontenac of his route. Upon his arrival, the troops were to 
be immediately embarked for Boston ; and when that town was 
taken, they were to range the coast to Piscataqua, destroying 
the settlements as far back into the country as possible. 

1 " Je prendrai encore la liberte de vrer des Iroquois, que celle de Bas- 

vous dire, que la prise de Manhatte ton," i. e., Boston. Charlevoix, iii. 

6toit beaucoup plus utile pour la su- 318, ed. 1744, 12mo. 
cete de cette colonie, et pour la deli- 


chap. Should there be time for further acquisitions, they were next 
v _J3^ t° g° t° New York, and upon its reduction the Canadian 
1697. troops were to march overland to Quebec, laying waste the 
country as they proceeded. 1 

Tidings of this contemplated invasion reached Boston before 
the arrival of the fleet on the coast, and the inhabitants were 
in the greatest consternation. But feeble hopes were enter- 
tained of aid from England ; yet Mr. Stoughton, the lieutenant 
governor, making the best preparations in his power, caused 
the militia of the province to be held in readiness to march for 
the seaports ; and the Castle in the harbor, which was in a 
comparatively defenceless condition, was strengthened as fully 
as time would permit. But the schemes of the French were 
July 24. not destined to succeed. De Nesmond, on reaching Placentia, 
found there a letter awaiting him from M. le Comte de Pont- 
chartrain, informing him that eighteen English ships from 
Lisbon, laden with salt, under the convoy of a man-of-war, 
purposed to proceed to Newfoundland to be employed in the 
cod fishery ; and he was instructed to do every thing in his 
power to prevent their escaping him before leaving for Boston. 
Detained by contrary winds, however, his passage from France 
was so long, and his arrival so late, that nothing could be 
heard of the English fleet ; and when a council of war was 
held to consider the expediency of proceeding to Boston, the 
proposal was unanimously negatived. The grounds of this 
decision were, that they were entirely ignorant of the situation 
and circumstances of the enemy, and that, with whatever de- 
spatch messengers were sent to Frontenac, the Canadian forces 
could not be expected at Penobscot before the tenth of Sep- 
tember, and by that time the provisions of the fleet would ie 
so far expended that they would be in no capacity to prosecute 
such an enterprise. 2 

1 Charlevoix, iii. 318-321; Hutch- inson, ii. 99; Holmes, Am. Ann. i. 
inson, ii. 96-99. 463, 464. 

2 Charlevoix, iii. 321, 322; Hutch- 


The peace of Ryswick, which soon followed, led to a tern- chap. 
porary suspension of .hostilities. 1 France, anxious to secure as Iv ' 
large a share of territory in America as possible, retained the 1697. 
whole coast and adjacent islands from Maine to Labrador and 
Hudson's Bay, with Canada, and the valley of the Mississippi. 
The possessions of England were southward from the St. Croix. 
But the bounds between the nations were imperfectly denned, 
and were, for a long time, a subject of dispute and negotiation. 
Each nation had land enough for all practical purposes, and 
more than it could colonize or suitably protect. Yefc the ambi- 
tion for territorial aggrandizement seems to be an inherent 
passion ; and, where national honor and private interest are in 
volved, mutual jealousies are sure to arise, nor can they be allayed 
until one party or the other is constrained by more powerful 
motives to modify or relinquish its extravagant claims. With- 
out doubt, both parties would gladly have assumed jurisdiction 
over the whole North American continent, could they have 
clone so with the prospect of maintaining their assumptions ; 
nor did the French exhibit a greater desire to encroach upon 
the English, than the English exhibited to encroach upon the 
French. Each accused the other of trespassing upon its 
dominions, and neither was content that the other should gain 
the least advantage, or secure to itself a monopoly of the fish- 
ery or the fur trade. 2 

The suspension of hostilities in Europe was but temporary ; 1702. 

May 4 

for in 1702 war was again declared. In the mean time the 
French were secretly employed in encouraging the Indians bor- 
dering upon New England to violate the leagues which had 
been formed with them, and ravage the country. 3 It may 1698. 

1 Notice of the peace was transmit- Detection of the Court and State of 
ted to the colonies in October, 1697, England, iii. 57; Hutchinson, ii. 104; 
with orders for its proclamation, which Haliburton's N. S. vol. i. 

were obeyed in December. Stough- 3 On these leagues, made in 1698, 

ton, MS. Letter to England, and MS. see Hutchinson, ii. 104; Holmes, 

Contin. of Chalmers's Polit. Ann. Pt. Ann. i. 473 ; N. H. Hist. Coll. ii. 265 

H. -267. 

2 Chalmers, Revolt, i. 276 ; Coke's 



chap, seem hardly credible that so treacherous a design should have 
^^1^ b een deliberately conceived by a nation which boasted of its 
1703. superior enlightenment ; but the testimony of Charlevoix, the 
Jesuit historian of New France, abundantly proves the correct- 
ness of the charge, for he glories in the conduct of his country- 
men, and speaks of it in terms of extravagant eulogy. 1 Thus 
countenanced, it may well be supposed that the fierce Abenakis 
manifested no reluctance to avail themselves of this opportu- 
nity to satiate their revenge ; and in a very short time they 
burst like an avalanche upon the country, spreading desolation 
wherever they went. 
1703-4. Their first principal attack was upon Deerfield, one of the 


pleasantest of the western villages, which had suffered severely 
in Philip's war, and which had been recently rebuilt and par- 
tially fortified. 2 The assailants, three hundred in number, 
French and Indians, under Hertel de Rouville, a merciless mis- 
creant, with the aid of snow shoes skimmed over the snow, 
which was four feet deep, and, on the evening of the last day 

Feb. 28. but one of February, 3 reached the dark pine forest which 
loomed up at the outskirt of the village, where they were shel- 
tered for the night. 4 Trembling hearts and tearful eyes were 
in the settlement, for the inhabitants had been warned of im- 
pending danger by Colonel Schuyler, of New York, and the 
Mohawks. A body of twenty soldiers had been sent to defend 
the place, and sentinels were posted at different points, who 
kept anxious watch until two hours before day, when they 

Feb. 29. retired. Immediately the enemy, who had been secretly recon- 
noitring, perceiving all to be quiet, crept stealthily up to the 

1 Charlevoix, Nouv. Fr. See also s Bancroft, from oversight, says the 
Dummer's Defence ; 3 M. H. Coll. i. last day of February. That year was 
233, and vi. 247 ; Chalmers, Revolt, leap year. 

i. 277 ; Penhallow, in N. H. Hist. 4 Holland, Hist. Western Mass. L 

Coll. i. 22, 44. 148, says the spot where the Indians 

2 MS. Letter of John Pynchon to lodged was " at a pine bluff overlook- 
Governor Dudley, dated August 3, ing Deerfield meadow, about two 
1702, in the possession of J. W. miles north of the village — a locality 
Thornton, Esq. known as Petty's Plain." 


palisades, and, aided by the drifts, which were piled up nearly chap 
to their top, sprang into the enclosure, and the wild war whoop IV- 
pealed upon the air. The garrison house was first surprised ; 1704. 
and another party breaking into the house of Mr. Williams, 
the minister, he was seized, with his wife, and five of his chil- 
dren ; his house was plundered, and two children and a negro 
woman were cruelly murdered. Falling upon other houses, 
upwards of forty persons were slain, and more than a hundred 
were made prisoners. 1 When the sun was an hour high the 
work was finished, and the enemy took their departure, leaving 
the snow reddened with blood, and the deserted village envel- 
oped in flames. The sufferings of the prisoners who can por- 
tray ? Children who grew weary, and women who tottered 
from weakness and hunger, were remorselessly slain and scalped 
by their captors. A Bible had been saved, which was read to 
them at night as they halted for rest ; and its inspiring truths 
were never more cheering than then. The strength of Mrs. 
Williams, who had been recently confined, rapidly failed, and a 
blow from a tomahawk ended her sorrows. Mr. Williams, her 
husband, was carried to Canada, but eventually returned, with 1706. 
four of his children. The youngest, a daughter of but seven 
years old, remained, was adopted into a village of Indians 
near Montreal, and became a proselyte to the Catholic faith, 
and the wife of a Cahnewaga chief. After many years she 
revisited her childhood's home, with her husband, clad in an 
Indian dress ; but neither the entreaties of her friends nor the 
prayers of the people could induce her to tarry with them. 

She returned to her wigwam, and to the love of her children. 2 

The same summer of the attack on Deerfield, a body of four July 31. 

1 The accurate Prince, in his Ap- 2 The narrative of Mr. Williams, 

pendix to Williams's Redeemed Cap- entitled the " Redeemed Captive," 

tive, p. 109,6th ed. 1795, computes first published in 1706-7, is the princi- 

the number of killed at 49, and the pal authority. See also Hutchinson, 

number of captives at 109, and gives ii. 127-129, 140, 141 ; Penhallow, in 

the names of the persons. See also 2 N. H. Hist. Coll. i. 29, 30 ; Holmes, 

Holland's Hist. Western Mass. i. 151, Ann. i. 487, 488, and notes ; Holland's 

note. Hist. Western Mass. i. 148-156. 


chap, hundred French and Indians fell upon Lancaster, and burned 
^3l^ the meeting house and several dwellings ; l another party way- 
1704. laid a scout sent from Northampton to Westfield, and killed 
1705-6. one man and took two prisoners ; 2 and during this and the 
two following years, other towns in the Bay province suffered 
by their depredations. 3 The barbarities perpetrated in this 
war equalled, if they did not exceed, those of Philip's war. 
Women, far advanced in pregnancy, were violently delivered, 
and the tender babes dashed to the ground. Infants were de- 
spatched in the same manner ; or sometimes, half strangled, 
they were thrown to their mothers to quiet. Of the captives, 
some were roasted alive ; others were gashed in all parts of 
their bodies, brands were thrust into the wounds, and then set 
on fire. The condition of those who fared the best was far 
from enviable. They were subjected to the hardship of trav- 
elling, barefoot and half naked, through pathless deserts, over 
craggy mountains, through horrible swamps and thickets. 
They were obliged to endure frost, rain, and snow, and all the 
inclemencies of the season, both by night and by day. No pity 
was shown, nor allowance made, for the aged or infirm. Such 
as, through infirmity, hunger, fatigue, or sorrow, fainted under 
their burdens, or could not keep pace with the enemy, were 
despatched with the tomahawk. 4 
1708. The attack upon Haverhill is memorable in the annals of 
that town. The little village contained about thirty cottages, 
mostly of logs, clustered upon the slope of the hill whose base 
is bathed by the beautiful Merrimac. In the centre stood a 
new meeting house, the pride of the settlers, within whose walls 
they gathered from Sabbath to Sabbath, to listen to the word 
of life dispensed from the lips of the amiable Rolfe. Like 
most of the villages of New England, it was tenanted by the 

1 Boston News Letter, Nos. 16 and 3 N. H. Hist. Coll. i. 42, 49, 50. 
31. -* 4 Trumbull's U. S. i. 228, 229. 

2 3 M. H. Coll. vi. 259; N. H. 
Hist. Coll. i. 39, 40. 


yeomanry of the land, who industriously cultivated their patches chap. 
'of maize, on the few acres which the hand of toil had redeemed ^3^w 
from the wild magnificence of towering forests. The scene 1708. 
was one of rural quietude, too peaceful to be invaded by the 
ruthless destroyer. Yet at the dawn of q, summer's day, whose Aug.29. 
eve had closed in with no warning of the danger which threat- 
ened, the bloodthirsty Rouville, with his desperate followers, 
after impiously calling upon G-od to sanction his deed, raised the 
shrill war cry, and sprang upon the village which his murder- 
ous heart had devoted to destruction. The crack of the rifle, 
and the crash of the tomahawk as it broke through the skull 
of its helpless victim, were mingled with shouts and groans 
of despair. The family of Rolfe were among the first suffer- 
ers, and the father was beaten to death • the hatchet sank 
deep into the brain of the mother ; her infant was snatched 
from her dying grasp, and its head dashed against a stone. 
Two children escaped, who were secreted in the cellar by a 
negro slave. Vain was the attempt to drive out the foe. 
The surprise was so sudden as to admit of no concert. Each 
fought for his own family, and was shot down in their midst, 
struggling for their defence. A few only escaped the general 
massacre, indebted for their deliverance to the gallantry of 
Davis, and others from Salem, posted in the neighborhood and 
hastily mustered, who, as the destroyers retired, hung on their 
rear to rescue the captives. At the close of the day the 
tragedy was over ; the bodies of the slain were mournfully 
interred : and though nearly a century and a half has elapsed 
since they fell, an ancient mound marks their resting-place, 
and a moss-grown stone, with its rude inscription, stands by 
the grave of Rolfe and his family. 1 

Is it surprising that such cruelties inspired the deepest hate 1697. 
towards the French and their missionaries ? Scarcely had 

1 Charlevoix ; Hutchinson, ii. 157 ; tack was made upon Haverhill shortly 

PenhalloAv, in N. H. Hist. Coll. i. 59; after, but without much damage. Bos- 

Mirick, Hist. Haverhill, 117-134; ton News Letter, No. 233, Sept. 27 to 

Bancroft, iii. 215, 216. A second at- Oct. 4, 170& 


chap, peace been proclaimed in New England, when the designs of 
^J3l~ the French against the English were renewed ; and Villebon, 
1698. the governor at St. John's, forwarded a letter containing his 
' instructions to seize and defend the whole country to the Ken- 
nebec. The Board of Trade was informed of these proceed- 
ings ; but the only result was a message, insisting on the right 
of the English as far as the St. Croix, and urging Massachu- 
setts to rebuild the fort at Pemaquid. 1 With this order the 
General Court was reluctant to comply. It was not a " rep- 
rehensible parsimony " which prompted their refusal. 2 The 
place was so distant that the force of the province was inade- 
quate for its defence, and the funds of the government were 
needed for other purposes. Besides, it was contended that 
the work of rebuilding the fort was entirely uncalled for, as it 
would prove insufficient for the protection of the frontier. 3 

Before long, however, it became evident that a more decided 
course must be taken. The encroachments of the French were 
daily increasing ; and their connection with the Indians, whom 
they had prompted to ravage the country, demanded some 
action to check their proceedings. Accordingly, intelligence 
1707. having been received that an armament from England was to 
be sent against Acadia or Canada, it was resolved that one 
thousand men should be raised in Massachusetts to aid in the 
prosecution of that design. Proposals were made to the other 
provinces to join in the project ; but Connecticut declined ren- 
dering assistance, though New Hampshire and Rhode Island 
promptly responded to the call. The forces from England 
did not arrive, the war with Spain preventing their departure. 
Hence the whole charge of the expedition devolved upon New 
England. The command of the troops, consisting of two 
regiments, was intrusted to Colonel March ; and the fleet, 

1 Stoughton's Lett, to Board of 2 Discov. and Sett, of the English 
Trade; Hutchinson, ii. 105, 106; in Amer. quoted in Hutchinson, ii. 68 ; 
Chalmers, MS. copy of his Polit. Ann. Williamson's Me. i. 636. 
Pt. II., and Revolt, i. 278 ; 3 M. H. 3 Mass. Rec's ; Collection of Pro- 
Coll, i. 135; Grahame, ii. 12; Holmes, ceedings of Gen. Court, ed. 1729, pp. 
L 470 ; Williamson's Me. ii. 26, 27. 20, 21 ; Hutchinson, ii. 138. 


which consisted of three transport ships, five brigantines, chap. 
and fifteen sloops, with " whaleboats answerable," attended ^J^^ 
by, her majesty's ship the Deptford and the province galley, 1707. 
sailed from Boston early in May, 1 and reached Port Eoyal May 13. 
towards the close of the month. 2 Here the soldiers were May 26. 
landed, and the fort was attacked ; but after several skir- 
mishes, which resulted disastrously, the siege was abandoned, June 7. 
and the army reembarked — Colonels Keel nap and Appleton 
returning to Boston for further instructions, and the rest pro- 
ceeding to Casco Bay. The orders of the governor, returned 
by the messengers, were, that the attempt should be renewed. 
The army once more sailed, and landing opposite the fort, Aug. 10. 
prepared for an attack. But the troops were dispirited ; the 
weather was unfavorable ; sickness was spreading ; the men 
were incapable of sustaining the fatigues of a siege ; and ten 
days after, the design was relinquished, and the fleet returned Aug.20 
to Boston. 3 

Not thus, however, was the attempt to be abandoned ; and 
England, resolved on increasing her colonial acquisitions, and 
punishing the audacity and insolence of the French, prepared 1709. 
to send a fleet to America for the reduction of Canada, Aca- 
dia, and Newfoundland. The plan was extensive. A squad- 
ron of ships was to be at Boston by the middle of May. Five May. 
regiments of regular troops, numbering three thousand men, 
were to embark in this fleet, and twelve hundred men were to 
be raised in the northern colonies to ally with them on their 
arrival. Massachusetts and Rhode Island were expected to 
raise these men ; and the governments were to provide trans- 
ports, boats, pilots, and provisions. With this force Quebec 

1 Penhallow, in N. H. Hist. Coll. hallow, in N. H. Hist. Coll. i. 54-56 ; 
i. 54, says the fleet sailed March 13 — Chalmers, Revolt, i. 335, 336 ; Hali- 
a misprint, probably, for May 13. burton's N. S. i. 83, 84 ; Holmes, 

2 Haliburton, N. S. i. 84, says the Ann. i. 496, 497, and notes. In the 

fleet arrived May 17. This must be pamphlet entitled " The Deplorable \ 

a mistake. State of N. Eng.," &c, the blame of 

3 On this expedition, see Charle- the failure of this expedition is charged 
voixj Hutchinson, ii. 150-155 ; Pen- to Governor Dudley. 

VOL. II. 7 


chap, was to be attacked ; and in Connecticut, New York, and New 

^_^3iw J ers ey, fifteen hundred men were to be raised, — including the 
1709. four independent companies of one hundred men each, the reg- 
ular garrison of New York, — who were to march by the lakes 
and attack Montreal. The expedition from the northern col- 
onies was to be commanded by Colonel Yetch, an officer who 
had already been engaged against the French ; and it was left 
to Lord Lovelace, the governor of New York, to appoint the 
general officer for the troops from the southern department ; 
but by his death the power devolved upon Ingoldsby, the lieu- 
tenant governor, and Francis Nicholson, successively lieutenant 
governor of New York, of Maryland, and of Yirginia, was 
selected, and marched with his forces to Wood Creek, near 
the head of Lake Champlain. 

The transports and troops from Massachusetts and Rhode 
May Island waited at Boston from May to September, every day 

Sept. expecting the fleet from England ; but no intelligence arriving, 
Colonel Yetch, satisfied that it was too late to set out at that 
season of the year, proposed a conference of the governors at 

Oct. 11. Rhode Island. A few days before this meeting, a ship arrived 
at Boston from England, with advices from Lord Sunderland 
that the forces intended for America had been ordered to Por- 
tugal, and with directions to consult upon the expediency of 
attacking Port Royal ; but by the refusal of the English ships 
then in the harbor to join in the expedition, the General Court, 
then in session, desired the governor to discharge the trans- 
ports and disband the men, who had been kept under pay five 
months, greatly to the embarrassment of the finances of the 
province. Thus the new scheme of conquest, like others which 
had been devised, through the negligence of England proved 
an abortion, expensive to the colonists and injurious to their 

interests. 1 

1 On this expedition, see Mass. i. 61 ; Chalmers, Revolt, i. 343 ; Gra- 

Rec's, vii. 426 ; Dummer, in 3 M. H. hame, ii. 26 ; Holmes, Ann. i. 500 ; 

Coll. i. 234 ; Hutchinson, ii. 160- Williamson's Me. ii. 58 $ Dunlap's N. 

163 ; Penhallow, in N. H. Hist. Col. York, i. 266 ; Hildreth's U. S. ii. 261. 


The next expedition was more successful. At the instance chap 
of Nicholson, Colonel Schuyler, of New. York, had visited _J3^ 
England with five Iroquois sachems, fantastically attired, who 1709-10. 
were conducted in state to an audience with the queen, and 1710. ' 
attracted the attention of the journalists of the day. 1 The 
government of New York, through these agents, renewed its 
appeal for aid in the reduction of Canada ; and, as the meas- 
ure was one which demanded attention, the Dragon and Fal- 
mouth, two of her majesty's fifty gun frigates, with the bomb 
ship Star, a tender, and several transports, left England in the May 8. 
spring, and arrived at Boston in the middle of July. Joined July 15. 
here by the Lowestoff and the Feversham, from New York, Sept. 9. 
and the . Chester, of fifty guns, with the province galley, and 
fourteen transports in the pay of Massachusetts, five from Con- 
necticut, two from New Hampshire, and three from Rhode 
Island, the whole fleet, consisting of thirty-six vessels, sailed 
from Nantasket for Port Royal, having on board, besides the Sep. 18. 
regiment from England, commanded by Colonel Redding, four 
regiments raised in New England, two of which were com- 
manded by Sir Charles Hobby and Colonel Tailer of Massa- 
chusetts, one by Colonel Whiting of Connecticut, and one by 
Colonel Walton of New Hampshire, with Nicholson as general 
of the forces, and Yetch as adjutant general. In six days the Sep. 24. 
fleet anchored before Port Royal, and the troops were landed 
without opposition. The forces of Subercase, the governor of 
the French fortress, consisted of but two hundred and sixty 
men, most of whom were so insubordinate that they could not 
be trusted. The siege continued three or four days, the French 
throwing shells and shot from their fort, and the bomb ship 
replying with signal effect, when, finding the place too warm 
for them, a flag of truce was sent from Subercase, praying Sep. 29 
leave for the ladies in the fort to be sheltered in the English 
camp. This request was granted ; but two days after, the 

1 Coke's Detection, iii. 382, where N. Y. i. 121-123 ; Trumbull, voL i. ; 
are the names of the chiefs ; Smith's Holmes, i. 502, note. 



chap. English engineers, Forbes and Rednap, having thrown up 
> _33l^ three batteries within one hundred yards of the walls, mount- 

1710. ing two mortars and twenty-four cohorn mortars, the attack 
was renewed. At length Colonel Tailer and Captain Aber- 
crombie were sent to the French commandant with a summons 
to surrender ; a cessation was agreed upon ; terms of capitulation 

Oct. 2. were settled ; on the following day the articles were signed ; 

Oct. 5. Port Royal was delivered into the hands of the victors ; in 
honor of her majesty, Queen Anne, the name of the place was 
changed to Annapolis ; and General Nicholson, having made 
himself master of all Acadia, left a garrison at the fortress 
under the command of Colonel Vetch, and returned with his 

Oct. 26. fleet and army to Boston. 1 

Flushed with success, the ardent Nicholson, panting for 

1711. greater triumphs, again visited England, to urge the conquest 
of Canada ; and being joined there by Jeremiah Dummer, a 
young man of superior abilities and accomplishments, after- 
wards conspicuous in the history of Massachusetts, a memorial 
was presented to the queen, begging her, " in compassion to 
the plantations, to send an armament against Canada," in 
which enterprise he represented that not only Massachusetts, 
but the other provinces, " even Virginia," would be ready to 
aid. 2 Massachusetts, however, had faint hopes of the success 
of this appeal ; for, as the change in the ministry, alluded to 
in a previous chapter, had just taken place, — the tories under 
Harley and St. John having raised themselves to power, — 
with what confidence could the colonists look for favor from 
a party adverse to their views, when their prayers had been 
treated with neglect by their friends ? Greatly to their sur- 
prise, however, and as greatly to their joy, prompt attention 

June 8. was paid to their request ; and, at the return of Nicholson, 

1 On this expedition, see Mass. 348, 349 ; Haliburton's N. S. i. 85- 

Rec's ; Charlevoix ; Lediard's Naval 88 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vi. 120 ; Dummer*! 

Hist. Eng. 848, 849 ; Hutchinson, ii. Defence, 32 ; Williamson's Me. ii. 59. 
164-167 ; Penhallow, in N. H. Hist. 2 Chalmers, Revolt, i. 349 j Hil- 

ColL i. 63-66 ; Chalmers, Revolt, i. dreth's U. S. ii. 169. 



they were informed that a fleet of from twelve to fifteen ships chap. 
of war and forty transports, under the command of Sir Hoven- ^3-L, 
den Walker, 1 and seven veteran regiments from Marlborough's 1711. 
army, under General Hill, with a battalion of marines six 
hundred in number, was to sail immediately from England, and 
would probably arrive on the coast in a very few days. 

By the same messenger, orders were forwarded from the 
queen to the governments of New England, New York, the 
Jerseys, and Pennsylvania, to raise the quotas assigned to 
them, in readiness to join the fleet without delay, with provis- 
ions for the army sufficient for ten weeks' supply. 2 The rea- 
son assigned for the last order was, that there might be no 
suspicions in Europe of the destination of the fleet, which was 
kept secret ; but the government of Massachusetts, aware of 
the difficulty of procuring such a quantity of provisions at so 
short a notice, began to suspect that it was not seriously de- 
signed in England that Canada should be taken, and that this 
unusual course had been adopted to shift the blame of the 
expedition, in case of its failure, from the mother country to 
the colonies. To anticipate this charge, the governor, and 
even private persons, put forth vigorous exertions to secure the 
requisite supplies ; and the people, though with some reluc- 
tance, acquiesced in their demands. 

Upon the arrival of the fleet, 3 with six thousand seamen and jun. 25. 
marines, and five thousand five hundred soldiers, as money, the 
" sinews of war," was necessary for the expedition, the General 
Court of the province, notwithstanding the embarrassment of 
the finances, determined to issue forthwith forty thousand 

1 His commission is in his Journal, forces consisted of 1500 men. Walk- 
App. 159, 160, and his instructions are er's Journal, 85. 

in ibid. 166-174. 3 The Boston News Letter, No. 

2 A meeting of the governors of 379, says, on Monday, 25th June, 
the several colonies was held at New the Castle gave alarm of several ships 
London on Thursday, June 20 ; and in in the Bay, and General Hill arrived, 
three days' time the necessary orders, His excellency was absent at the con- 
&c, were agreed upon. Boston News gress at New London. Walker, Jour- 
Letter, No. 376. The New England nal, 35, says he arrived at Nantasket 

June 24. 


CHAP, pounds in bills of credit, to be loaned to merchants and others 

^^L. f° r * ne * erm °f ^ wo vears > f° r the purchase of bills of exchange 
1711. on the treasury of England. As provisions were held at ex- 
travagant rates, in consequence of the sudden and enormous 
demand, an order was likewise issued regulating the prices at 
which different articles should be sold. The dealers, upon 
this, closed their stores, or concealed their goods. The gov- 
ernment authorized an impressment of provisions, in case of 
refusal to sell ; and this brought the malcontents to terms. 1 

Nor were these the only difficulties encountered. Soldiers 
and seamen began to desert ; and Admiral Walker demanded 
their return, or a supply equal to the loss. All the evils inci- 
dent to the quartering of a large force suddenly upon the coun- 
try began to manifest themselves ; and it was soon evident 
that, unless the departure of the expedition was hastened, the 
whole design must end in discomfiture or disgrace. 2 

July 30. At length, after a month's delay, the fleet, consisting of about 
eighty vessels in all, sailed ; but scarcely had it begun to ascend 

Aug.23. the St. Lawrence, when eight ships were wrecked, and nearly 
a thousand men found a watery grave. A council of war voted 
unanimously that it was impossible to proceed ; and, without 
attempting any thing against Placentia, or striking a single 

1 The speech of Governor Dudley his own account, pp. 76-78, and from 
of July 5 to the General Court, to other authorities, that the quantity re- 
forward the expedition, is given in quired for his fleet was greater than 
the Boston News Letter, No. 377 ; Boston or the province could supply, 
and Walker's Journal, 72, 73, com- Jonathan Belcher was the principal 
mends his interest in the enterprise, contractor to furnish provisions for the 
A fast was proclaimed July 16, to be fleet, and Peter Faneuil provided the 
held July 26, and on the last Thurs- military stores. Ibid. 
day in each month afterwards during 2 The General Court of Massachu- 
the continuance of the expedition, setts, in anticipation of the arrival of 
Ibid. No. 379. Walker, Journal, 36, 64, Admiral Walker, issued an order, May 
65, complains of "the prices of pro- 30, 1711, to prevent the desertion of 
visions, and other necessaries for the sailors, marines, and soldiers ; and at 
fleet and army, in New England," and a later date, July 16, a second order 
unjustly charges the government with of the same purport was issued. See 
enhancing the expenses of the expedi- Mass. Rec's, and comp. Walker's 
tion "to make an advantage of our Journal, 198, 199, 229, 230. 
necessities ; " but it would seem from 


blow against the French, the bows of the vessels were turned chap. 
homeward, and the enterprise was abandoned. 1 w-T-^- 

Upon whom the responsibility of the failure of this expedi- 1711. 
tion rests, it may be difficult to say. Admiral Walker charged 
it to the misconduct of the colonists ; the colonists imputed it 
to his own mismanagement. The disappointment and loss were 
so grievous to New England, that " it affected the whole coun- 
try seven years after," and some abandoned all hopes of the 
reduction of Canada. So many failures indicated, as they con- 
ceived, that " Providence never designed the whole northern 
continent of America to be under the dominion of one nation." 
But the " fulness of times " had not then come. He who sits 
at the helm of the universe, guiding events in accordance with 
his own plans, had not issued the mandate which was to con- 
duct England to victory, and, by that very triumph, open the 
way for the independence of her colonies. Truly, 

" There's a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Roughhew them as we will." 

1 On this expedition, see Mass. volt, i. 349-352, 354 ; Penhallow, in 

Rec's ; Walker's Journal, passim ; Ra- N. H. Hist. Coll. i. 72-77 ; Dummer's 

pin, iv. 215, 216, and notes; Charle* Defence, 32; Holmes, Ann. i. 504, 

voix ; Boston News Letter, No. 379, 505 ; Williamson's Me. ii. 63 ; Gra- 

380, 381 ; Dummer's Letter to a No- hame, ii. 30, 33 ; Bancroft, U. S. iii. 

ble Lord ; Lediard, Naval Hist. 851- 218-224; Hildreth, ii. 265-267. 
856 Hutchinson, ii. ; Chalmers, Re- 



The removal of Mr. Dudley took place soon after the acces- 
sion of George I. ; and the government of Massachusetts, for 
which there was usually a sufficient number of aspirants, was 
conferred on Colonel Burgess, who had fought under Stanhope, 
the new secretary of state, but who, from his " necessitous con- 
dition," and the looseness of his manners, but especially from 
his ■ friendliness to the private bank party, was particularly 
obnoxious to many of the people. Hence, through the influ- 
ence of Jonathan Belcher, a prominent opponent of the private 
bank, and Jeremiah Dummer, the agent of the province in 
England, and with the assistance of Sir William Ashhurst, a 
warm friend to America, Mr. Burgess was persuaded, for the 
sum of one thousand pounds, to resign his commission in favor 
of Samuel Shute, an officer in the wars of William and Anne, 
who, from the respectability of his connections, and his pro- 
fessed religious and political principles, was more acceptable 
than Burgess. 1 By no means a man of " natural imbecility," 2 
the new governor was one who was well esteemed at court. 
Destitute of the intriguing disposition of Dudley, he had the 
character of a " friend to liberty ; " and if not possessed of 
extraordinary or even brilliant talents, or if, like Phips, some- 
what passionate at times, and a lover of ease, he was of an 
" open, generous, and humane disposition," and possessed many 
qualities which not only commended him to popular favor, but 

1 Boston News Letter, Nos. 633, 2 Such is the charge of Chalmers, 
634. Revolt, ii. 11. 



which fitted him for the office to which he was appointed. 1 chap. 
Unfortunately for him, and for all others, however, who held ^_ v ^ w 
the office of chief magistrate of the Province of the Massachu- 1716. 
setts Bay, there were insuperable obstacles to perfect success 
in the administration of affairs. These obstacles arose from 
the conflict of opinion between the province and the crown, 
and the natural jealousy that those who were placed over them 
at the pleasure of the king were, from that very fact, inimical to 
their liberties, and disposed to uphold the prerogatives of roy- 
alty. Whatever abilities, therefore, the chief magistrate might 
bring to the discharge of his duties, something more was needed 
than splendid administrative talents to overcome the prejudices 
of the politicians of New England. They could say, with 
Pericles, — 

" Kings are earth's gods ; in vice their law's their will j 
And if Jove stray, who dares say, Jove doth ill ? " 2 

Hence, as the governors of the province were appointed by the 
king, and were his representatives, bound to conform to his 
instructions at the peril of displacement, if his measures were 
arbitrary, theirs must be of the same character ; and if he 
sought to oppress his subjects, they must assist in fastening the 

Agreeably to the expectations which had been formed of 
him, Governor Shute, upon his arrival, allied himself with the 1716. 

Oct. 4* 

opposers of the private bank ; and with the family of Governor 
Dudley, in particular, he was soon on quite friendly terms, 
taking his lodgings at the house of Mr. Paul Dudley. The 
friends of the private bank were exceedingly chagrined, for 
they had counted upon securing his influence. Hence their 
opposition to his administration was bitter from the outset, and 
increased in violence as years rolled on. 3 

1 See C. Mather's Letter to Lord 3 Hutchinson, ii. 197. Col. Shute 
Barrington, in 1 M. H. Coll. i. 105, sailed from the Downs August 2, 1716, 
lOfi. • on board the Lusitania, and reached 

2 Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Act L Boston on Thursday, October 4. Bos- 
Sc. 1. ton News Letter, Nos. 650, 651. 


The population of the province in the early part of Mr. 
Shute's administration was much greater than at the date of 

1716. the grant of the charter. The official reports represent Mas- 
sachusetts as " inhabited by ninety-four thousand white persons, 
who possessed two thousand slaves, and by twelve hundred 
civilized Indians, who professed Christianity, and tilled their 
lands in peace." 1 The commerce of the country had propor- 
tionally increased ; and from one hundred and forty to one 
hundred and sixty vessels, of the aggregate burden of six thou- 
sand tons, are said to have been annually built, which formed 
part of their remittance to England. Massachusetts owned at 
least one hundred and ninety vessels, of the aggregate burden 
of eight thousand tons, which were navigated by eleven hun- 
dred men ; and one hundred and fifty " boats," employing six 
hundred men " in the fisheries " on the coast. The manufac- 
tures of cotton and woollen goods, and of linen by Scotch-Irish 
families settled at the eastward, 2 supplied the ordinary demands 
of the people ; and, " though necessity, not choice," led to the 
establishment of these manufactures, the vigor with which they 
were prosecuted awakened the jealousy of the merchants of 
England, and representations were made to the Board of Trade 
that, if these things continued, " they will be able in a little 
time to live without Great Britain, and their ability, joined to 
their inclination, will be of very ill consequence." 3 The value 
of the annual imports to all the American plantations at this 

1717. date is estimated at " one million sterling, in British products 
and manufactures, and foreign goods," the conveyance of which 
employed at least a fourth part of the shipping cleared from 
the kingdom. The exports, at the same date, amounted to 
eight hundred thousand pounds sterling ; and the balance of 

1 N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, v. 597; established themselves in New Hamp- 
Chalraers, Revolt, ii. 7, 14. The pop- shire and Maine. Belknap's N. H. ii. 
ulation of all the colonies was estimat- 35 et seq ; Williamson's Me. ; dial- 
ed at 434.600. mers, Revolt, ii. 14. 

2 These families — mostly Scotch 3 N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, v. 598 ; 
Presbyterians, settled in the province Chalmers, Revolfr, ii. 12. 

of Ulster in the reign of James L — 


two hundred thousand pounds " fell upon the provinces to the chap. 

northward of Maryland, who were enabled to discharge the v - 

same by the trade they were permitted to carry on in America 

and to Europe, in commodities not enumerated in the Acts of 

Trade." 1 From Boston alone, in the three years ending June Jun.24, 

24, 1717, there were cleared, for the West Indies, including to ' 

the* British islands, five hundred and eighteen ships, sloops, 1717/ 
and other vessels ; for the Bay of Campeachy, twenty-five ves- 
sels ; for foreign plantations, fifty-eight vessels ; for Newfound- 
land, forty-five vessels ; for Europe, forty-three vessels ; for 
Madeira, the Azores, &c, thirty-four vessels ; for Great Britain, 
one hundred and forty-three vessels ; for British plantations on 
the continent, three hundred and ninety vessels ; and eleven 
vessels for " ports unknown ; " — an aggregate of twelve hun- 
dred and forty-seven vessels, amounting to sixty-two thousand 
seven hundred and eighty-eight tons of shipping, and employ- 
ing eight thousand six hundred and ninety-seven men. 2 Salem, 
in the same period, cleared two hundred and thirty-two vessels, 
having an aggregate of thirteen thousand four hundred and 
thirty-one tons, and employing one thousand seven hundred and 
eighty-two men; while from New York there were cleared, 
from 1715 to 1718, but six hundred and forty-five vessels, hav- 
ing an aggregate ' of twenty-two thousand three hundred and 
ninety-two tons, and employing four thousand five hundred and 
thirteen men. 3 

These details, though imperfect, furnish some insight into 
the commercial activity of the province, and tend to show that 

1 N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, v. 614, 61o. lustration of the text : From May 12 
Dumraer, Defence, 10, estimates the to 19, 1707, fifteen vessels entered at 
annual value of the exports from Boston, and eight cleared. News Let- 
New England, previous to 1721, at ter, No. 161. From May 26 to June 
£300,000. 2, nine entered and fifteen cleared. 

2 N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, v. 618. Ibid. No, 163. From June 9 to 16, 
Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 41, characterizes thirteen entered and eleven cleared, 
these details as " fallacious." Of the Ibid. No. 165. 

1247 vessels alluded to in the text, 3 N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, v. 618 j 

1199 were plantation built. The fol- Hutchinson, ii. 320, note, 
lowing scraps are given in further il- 


chap. Massachusetts, more than a century ago, was the same busy 
^J^ and enterprising community as at present, and that the energies 
1717. of her people flowed in substantially the same channels. Is it 
strange that such a people were regarded with envy, and that 
the statesmen of England, unable to solve the startling problems 
which this unparalleled progress presented, became fearful lest 
the new world should outstrip the old ? Under these circum- 
stances, the policy which was adopted was neither unnatural nor 
inexplicable. " If the colonies are so prosperous," — thus rea- 
soned the ministers of the king, (for ministers, like other men, 
reason and act from the circumstances in which they are 
placed,) — " we should reap the benefit of that prosperity ; and 
they, as subjects, are bound to contribute to the relief of 
our necessities. If England is burdened with debt, America 
must aid in paying that debt ; and if the colonies will not vol- 
untarily submit, they must be forced to obey. We can make 
our power felt ; and if they refuse to yield, we must punish 
their stubbornness by retrenching their privileges." Few had 
the sagacity to perceive that the prosperity of America was 
the prosperity of England, and that more benefit could be 
derived to the mother country by leaving the colonies to their 
own way than by hampering their commerce with burdensome 
restrictions, and checking their industry by discouraging man- 

It was the popular complaint of the age, however, not only 
in relation to the charter, but also to the proprietary govern- 
ments, that they showed " too great an inclination to be 
independent of their mother country, and carried on a trade 
destructive to that of Great Britain ; " and these evils it was 
proposed to remedy by " bringing them all under his majesty's 
immediate government, and compelling them, by proper laws, 
to follow the commands sent them by the crown." " It hath 
ever been the wisdom," — thus they reasoned, — " not only of 
Great Britain, but likewise of all other states, to secure, by all 
possible means, the entire, absolute, and immediate dependency 


of their colonies ; " and hence the attempts to reduce the colo- chap, 
nies of America. 1 Y - 

A dispute with Mr. Bridger, his majesty's surveyor of the 1717. 
woods, who came to New England by the way of New York, 
in the same ship with Lord Bellamont, to " inquire into the 
state of the country, and its capacity for producing naval 
stores, particularly masts, and oak timber for ship building," 
was the precursor of difficulties which disturbed the province 
for a series of years. The inhabitants of Maine, conceiving 
that Mr. Bridger had infringed upon their rights by forbidding 
them to cut trees suitable for masts, — though necessary to 
make way for the operations of tillage, — strenuously opposed 
his course, and were joined by Mr. Cooke, a zealous politician, 
who charged the surveyor with malconduct, in compounding Nov 
with trespassers for his personal emolument — " permitting such 
persons as would pay him for it to cut down the trees which 
were said to belong to the king." 2 The governor took the 
part of the surveyor, and the next year refused to approve the 1718. 
choice of Cooke as a member of the Council. Indignant at 
this interference, the rejected candidate memorialized the Coun- 
cil, justifying his conduct. That body at first inclined to pass 
the matter by ; but subsequently a committee was appointed 
on their part, to join a committee of the House, to consider this 
memorial ; and the joint committee reported in favor of Cooke. 
An account of these proceedings was transmitted to England ; 

1 N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, v. 628 ; dial- setts, was ordered to cause acts to be 
mers, Revolt, ii. 42, 43. passed for the preservation of the trees 

2 Cooke's Vindication, 2d ed. pp. 5, in his jurisdiction. In the next reign, 
6 ; Hutchinson, ii. 201. By the char- — that of Queen Anne, — trees fit for 
ter, all trees suitable for masts were the navy were to be marked with the 
reserved to the crown ; and as early as broad arrow, and a register of the 
1668, the government of Massachu- same was to be kept. This whole 
setts had reserved for public use all matter was more fruitful in disputes 
pine trees twenty-four inches in di- than in benefits, however ; and, by 
ameter at three feet from the ground, mismanagement, it tended to exasper- 
Mass. Rec's. In the reign of King ate rather than to conciliate. See 
William, a " surveyor of the woods " Province Laws, 12, ed. 1726; Bel- 
was appointed by the crown ; and Lord knap's N. H. ii. 26-29, 32 ; William- 
Bellamont, the governor of Massachu- son's Me. 


chap, and the Board of Trade, in their reply, censured the conduct 
v# of the House, and justified the governor ; but the House re* 
1719. fused to submit to this censure, alleging that it was occasioned 
by " sending home the papers on one side only, whereby their 
lordships were informed ex parte" At the next election, the 
conduct of the governor was publicly disapproved by the choice 
of new representatives for Boston, and by a change in other 
towns adverse to his interests. 1 

For some time, the English government had resolved upon 
the policy of restricting manufactures in the plantations, on the 
plea that they " tended to lessen their dependence on Great 
Britain." Nearly every branch of industry was subjected to 
these restrictions, and every form of competition was discour- 
aged or forbidden. Through the intervention of the hatters 
1719. of London, Parliament forbade the transportation of hats from 
one plantation to another. 2 At the instance of the proprietors 
of iron works, it was decreed that " none in the plantations 
should manufacture iron wares of any kind whatsoever ; " and 
every " forge going by water, for making bar or rod iron," was 
proposed to be prohibited by the Peers. 3 Massachusetts, ever 
vigilant to protect her own interests, had anticipated this 
1718. action of the mother country, by passing an impost bill, 
approved by the governor, levying a duty, not only upon West 
India goods, wines, &c, but of one per cent, upon English 
manufactures and English ships. This ordinance was promptly 
denounced as " a great hardship on British owners," and was 
negatived by the king • but before the receipt of his instruc- 
tions to " give all encouragement to the manufactures of Great 
Britain," and the warning of the Board of Trade that the 
"passage of such acts might endanger their charter," the 
House passed a second bill of the same tenor, and sent it to 

1 On this controversy, see Mass. 3 Anderson, Hist. Commerce, iii. 
Rec's ; Cooke's Vindication, 2d ed. p. 88, 89 ; Bancroft's U. S. iii. 384. 
5 et seq. ; Hutchinson, vol. ii. ; Chal- This act was defeated by the vigilance 
mers, Revolt, ii. 15-17. of the colonies. 

2 Act 5 G. L c. 22. 


the Council for concurrence. The Council proposed as an chap. 
amendment to leave out the duty on English vessels and goods ; 
but the House adhered to the original bill. A conference 
ensued ; but the House insisted on their former vote. The 
discussion lasted several weeks, both parties refusing to yield ; 
until the governor, in a " mild and healing speech/ 7 suggested 
that the House, by their too great pertinacity, might "rather 
destroy than preserve those privileges so justly prized ; ;; when 
the controverted clause was dropped, and, after some further 
debate, the matter was so adjusted as to allay the excitement 
which had prevailed, and restore harmony to the action of the 
government. 1 

The embarrassment of the finances of the province was a 1720. 
fruitful source of dissension and debate. Trade, if not in a 
languishing condition, was suffering from the derangement in 
the currency, which had continued to increase notwithstanding 
an additional issue of one hundred thousand pounds in bills of 1716. 
credit. Indeed, not only at this juncture, but for a period of 
at least thirty years, serious evils resulted from the depreciation 
in the value of the bills in circulation ; and all who depended 
on their income for support — clergymen, salaried officers, and 
widows and orphans of limited means — were reduced to a 
state of suffering and want. Public institutions, supported by 
funds, and with which the interests of literature and religion 
were blended, tended to decay ; the settlement of estates was 
delayed by administrators ; trade was, in a great measure, 
reduced to a state of barter ; the rich were becoming richer ; 
the poor were becoming poorer ; and the province, to many, 
seemed on the verge of bankruptcy and ruin. 2 

The conduct of the governor in this emergency was not 

3. Rec's, Eng. ; Bancroft's U. S. iii. 387-390. 

and Hutchinson, ii. 204-209. Similar embarrassments prevailed in 

2 On the finances, see the tracts the other colonies, originating from 

published from 1716 to 1720, and the same source — an over issue of 

comp. Hutchinson, ii. 210 et seq. ; bills of credit. 
Minot, i. c. v ; Felt's Currency of N. 


chap, eminently calculated to conciliate the people ; and, by hi3 

^^ attempts to censure the press, 1 and other impolitic steps, a for- 
1720. miclable opposition was organized against him. His rejection 
May. of Cooke as speaker of the House exasperated that body ; and 

May 30. on their refusing to proceed to a second election, the court 
was hastily dissolved. 2 Writs for a new assembly were hnme- 

Juiy 13. diately issued, which was to meet in July ; but when convened, 
though, for the despatch of business a new speaker was chosen, 3 
a protest was entered against the conduct of the governor in 
dissolving the former body for "asserting and maintaining 
their just and ancient privilege of choosing their speaker," and 
the House refused to acknowledge " his excellency's power to 
negative v such choice. Nor did their resentment cease here. 
The new House assumed the choice of notaries public ; nega- 
tived the negotiations of the governor with the Penobscot 
tribe ; reduced his semiannual salary from six hundred to five 
hundred pounds ; and, " considering the low circumstances of 
the province," they ordered that "no draft should be made 
upon the treasury for expenses at times of public rejoicing for 
the future." Dissatisfied with these proceedings, the governor 

July 23. again interposed, and in less than two weeks put an end to 
the session. 4 

1720-21. In the following year the controversy was renewed. The 
' governor, in his speech at the opening of the court, recom- 
mended a series of measures to which, in his estimation, the 
exigencies of the public demanded attention. These were, 
that steps should be taken to prevent the depreciation of the 
currency ; to suppress unlawful trade with the French at Cape 
Breton ; to punish the authors of factious and seditious pa- 
pers ; to provide a present for the Five Nations in New York ; 

1 On this affair, see the Mass. Rec's, tion in Boston was held on Friday, 
Hutchinson, Grahame, &c. June 10. Boston News Letter, Nos. 

2 Boston News Letter, No. 846-; 848, 853 ; Hutchinson, ii. 

Cooke's Vindication, 2d ed. passim ; 4 Mass. Rec's ; Boston News Let- 
Hutchinson, vol. ii. ter, Nos. 854, 855 ; Hutchinson, ii. 

3 Timothy Lendall, Esq. The elec- 


and to enlarge his salary, which they had seen fit to retrench ; chap. 

but the House refused to consent to either proposal. 1 wZ^* 

Nor was any disposition evinced in other respects to con- 1721. 

Ma v. 

form to his requirements ; for at the next session of the court 
a new speaker was chosen, and, to prevent his being negatived, 
a message was sent to the Governor and Council acquainting 
them that " John Clarke, Esq., is chosen speaker of the House, 
and is now sitting in the chair." At this message his excel- 
lency was exceedingly exasperated, and was on the point of 
dissolving the court, when he was reminded by his friends that 
no choice of councillors had been made, and that, if the court 
was adjourned without such choice, the government would be 
suspended for a year. This brought him to his senses ; and, 
in consequence of the prevalence of the small pox in Boston, 
after a little business had been transacted, the court was ad- May si. 
journed to Cambridge. 2 

Here a new system of tactics was adopted. The governor, June 6. 
in his despatches to the ministers in England, saw fit to inform 
them (< that the assembly, composed of men more fit for the 
affairs of farming than for the duty of legislators, showed no 
regard to the royal prerogative or instructions, but endeavored 
to transgress the limits of the charter, though he was, indeed, 
supported by the Council, who themselves wanted assistance." 3 
Such representations could but widen the breach between the 
parties ; and the House neglected to make provisions for the 
support of his excellency and other officers, until they saw 
what action he would take upon the votes they had passed. 
But the governor had his revenge ; for when the House asked 
leave to adjourn, he negatived the request. The House then 
adjourned from Wednesday to the following Tuesday ; but this, juiy is, 

1 Mass. Eec's ; Collection of Pro- through this. Collection of Proceed- 

ceedrngs of General Court, 30, 31 ; ings of Gen. Court, ed. 1729, p. 26 et 

Hutchinson, ii. The controversy upon seq. 

the establishment of a fixed salary for 2 Mass. Rec's ; Boston News Let- 

the governor, begun under Mr. Dud- ter, No. 903. 

le)'s administration, was continued 3 Chalmers's Revolt 

VOL. II. 8 


chap, so far from mending matters, only made them worse. The 
_^w course of the House was censured as " irregular," and was 
1721. afterwards made the ground of a serious charge against that 
body. 1 In vain did Mr. Dummer, the agent of the province, 
venture to remonstrate. In vaid did he assure the House that 
their conduct was displeasing to the ministers of the king, who, 
" when they found a governor, fitted to make any people happy, 
was made uneasy in New England, concluded that the people 
would have no governor at all from England, but wanted to 
be independent of the crown." 2 Such remonstrances were 
unwelcome ; and the agent was dismissed. His able " Defence 
of the Charters of New England " was published about this 
time ; but the value of his services to the cause of his country, 
Which would perhaps have been appreciated under more favor- 
able circumstances, was lessened in the public estimation by 
reason of his interference in the difficulties with Mr. Shute. 3 
The prevalence of the small pox, which, after an interval of 
April, about twenty years, 4 broke out again in Massachusetts, was 
attended with the usual horrors of that loathsome disease ; 
for, out of five thousand eight hundred and eighty-nine persons 
who were attacked in Boston, eight hundred and forty-four 
died. 5 The practice of inoculation had been recently intro- 
duced into Europe ; and Cotton Mather, one of the ministers 
of Boston, having read, in the Transactions of the Royal 

1 Mass. Rec's; Jour. Ho. of Rep. ; the year 1700; and in 1702-3, it 
Proceedings of the Mass. Bay, &c. broke out again. Drake's Boston, 526. 

2 His Letters to the Province, and ° I here follow the Boston News 
Hutchinson, vol. ii. Letter, No. 943, Douglas, in 4 M. H. 

3 The first edition of this able work Coll. ii. 168, and Hutchinson, ii. 247. 
was published in 1721. There had But in 1 M. H. Coll. v. 207, is an ex- 
been several attempts before this date tract from an " old almanac," which 
to annul the charter of Massachusetts, states that 5813 persons were attacked, 
as in 1701, &c. ; but, by the interven- and 771 died. The same extract es- 
tion of friends, they were happily frus- timates the population of Boston at 
trated; and the liberties of the peo- this date at 10,567, of whom 6018 
pie, in that respect at least, remained lived to the south of the " mill creek," 
unmolested. Hutchinson, ii. 120,121. and 4549 to the north. Of the for- 

4 Douglas, in 4 M. H. Coll. ii. 168. mer, 3217 had the small pox, and 490 
The small pox had prevailed in Mas- died ; and of the latter, 2596 were at- 
sanhusetts four times, at least, before tacked, and 281 died. 



Society of England, of which he was a member, letters from chap. 
Constantinople and Smyrna, giving an account of this practice v ' 
and its success, interested himself to introduce it into Amer- 1721. 
ica ; x but his application to the physicians of the town was at 
first unsuccessful. At length Dr. Boylston consented to try 
the experiment upon his own children and servants. His suc- 
cess was encouraging. But the practice was opposed, not only 
by the medical faculty generally, — among whom Douglas, a 
Scotchman, and Dolhonde, 2 a Frenchman, were conspicuous for 
their zeal, — but also by many " pious people," as well as the 
" vulgar," who insinuated that, if his patients died, he " should 
be treated as a murderer." 3 The magistrates of Boston 
were equally deluded ; and, upon consultation with the phy- 
sicians, a manifesto was put forth showing the dangers of the 
practice. 4 Even the House of Representatives did not display 
their usual wisdom, and brought in a bill prohibiting inocula- 
tion ; but the Council hesitated, and the bill stopped. 5 It 
must not be supposed, however, that there were none in the 
province possessed of sufficient intelligence to comprehend so 
simple a subject. Several of the ministers, as Increase Mather 
and Dr. Column, espoused the cause of inoculation, and wrote 
in its favor. 6 But Cotton Mather, the patron of the movement, 

1 One of these letters was repub- a Letter to A — S — , M. D. and F. 
lished in the Boston News Letter, No. E. S., in London," and was " printed 
945, and both were issued in a pam- by J. Franklin, at his Printing House 
phlet form by Dr. Boylston. Doug- in Queen St., over against Mr. Sheafs 
las, in 4 M. H. Coll. ii. 169, asserts School, 1722." A reply to Douglas 
that he lent to Dr. Mather the num- was published, entitled " A Friendly 
bers of the Philosophical Transactions Debate," &c, by Academicus. 
containing this account. 4 Hutchinson, &c. 

2 Hutchinson, ii. 248, says Dal- 5 Mass. Rec's. 
honde ; but his autograph, in my pos- 6 The title of I. Mather's pamphlet 
session, gives the spelling of the text. I am unable to give ; but that of Dr. 
Douglas says he opposed the practice Column was entitled " Some Observa- 
as " not being sufficiently assured of tions on the New Method of receiv- 
its safety and consequences ; " and he ing the Small Pox by Inoculating or 
reckoned it "a sin against society to Grafting." I have seen also an anon- 
propagate infection by this means," ymous pamphlet, attributed to Wal- 
&c. ter Grainger, entitled " The Proposi- 

3 The pamphlet of Douglas was en- tion of Inoculation as a Duty reli- 
titled u Inoculation of the Small Pox giously considered." 
as practised in Boston, considered in 


chap, did not escape without experiencing the evil effects of popular 
^^1^, prejudice. Not only was he personally assailed in vituperative 
1721. pamphlets, but mobs paraded the streets, with halters in their 
hands, uttering violent and inflammatory language ; and a 
hand grenade was thrown in at his window, for the destruction 
of his nephew, Mr. Walter, the minister of Roxbury, who had 
been privately inoculated in his house. 1 Yet the practice was 
continued, in spite of opposition ; and in the end its defenders 
effectually triumphed. 2 

It was during the height of this controversy that the court, 
Aug.23. which had been dissolved in July, assembled upon a new sum- 
mons at the George Tavern, at the extreme part of the town. 
Mr. Clarke was chosen speaker ; and a message was sent to 
the governor informing him of this choice, which he saw iit to 
approve. 3 Apprehensive of danger, however, from the prox- 
imity of the contagion, the House passed a vote for removing 
the court to Cambridge ; but the Council non-concurred. The 
governor immediately informed the House that he would will- 
ingly consent to their removal, "if he was applied to in such 
a manner as should consist with the sole right in him of 
adjourning, proroguing, and dissolving the court ; " but the 
House would not concede this right, and a quorum chose to 
risk their lives in Boston rather than acknowledge the power 
of the governor to control their motions at pleasure. 4 

Nor did the House hesitate to join issue with the statesmen 
of England, who sanctioned the course of the governor ; for, 
notwithstanding the opinion of the attorney general was for- 
warded, that "he had good right to negative the speaker," 

1 In the Boston News Letter, No. Law of Physick, either Natural or Di- 

929, are full particulars of this affair, vine, and therefore unlawful." 

Douglas, in 4 M. H. Coll. ii. 169, 2 Boylston's Account, Lond. ed. 

says, by November 18 one hundred 1726 ; Trans. Royal Soc. vol. xxx. ; 

persons had been inoculated. One Hutchinson, ii. ; Pemberton, in 1 M. 

of the pamphlets issued against the H. Coll. 4. 

practice of inoculation was by John 3 Mass. Rec's; Hutchinson, ii. 241. 

Williams, and was entitled " Several 4 Mass. Bee's ; Hutchinson, ii. 241, 

Arguments proving that Inoculating 242. 
the Small Pox is not contained in the 


and the lords of trade approved his proceedings, the House chap, 
drew up a remonstrance, justifying their own conduct, and ^J^ 
declaring, temperately yet firmly, that, "with all deference to 1721 
the opinion of the attorney general, they must still claim the 
right of solely electing and constituting their speaker ; and 
they humbly presumed that their so doing could not be ac- 
counted a slight of, or a disaffection to, his majesty's instruc- 
tions, or as bearing upon the royal prerogative." l 

Pending the progress of these disputes, serious difficulties 
had arisen with the eastern Indians, who, highly incensed at 
the conceived encroachments of the New England colonies, 
were instigated by the French to invade the territories of the 
English. Sebastian Rasles, a Jesuit missionary, and an accom- 
plished scholar, was the spiritual guide of the tribes ; and, as 
he was in close correspondence with the governor of Canada, 
it was with his consent, if not with his approval, that these 
ravages were committed. 2 The people of Massachusetts re- 
sented his conduct ; and Governor Shute was not a little 
displeased at the treatment he had personally experienced 
during his visit to the eastward, with several of the Council 1717 

Aug. 9 

of New Hampshire, to negotiate with the Indians at Arrowsick to 12. 

Island. 3 In 1720, the House resolved that one hundred and jj 720, 2 

fifty men should be sent to Norriclgewock to " compel the 

Indians to make full satisfaction for the damages they had 

done ; " and a warrant was issued to Captain Leighton, the 

high sheriff of York, for the apprehension of Easles. The 

governor, however, esteemed this resolve as a declaration of 

war, and an invasion of the prerogative ; and the Council 

rejected it. 4 

In the following year, two hundred Indians, under French Aug.17 

1 Mass. Rec's ; Hutchinson, ii. 242. H. Coll. v. 112-119; Belknap's N. 

2 Part of this correspondence may H. ii. 47 ; Williamson's Me. ii. ; N. 
be seen in the M. H. Coil's. Comp. H. Hist. Col. ii. 242-257. 

also Hutchinson, ii. ; Belknap's N. H. 4 Mass. Rec's ; Boston Gazette, No. 
ii. 49 ; Franklin's Works, iv. 7, note. 47 ; News Letter, No. 869 ; Belknap, 

3 Shute's Letter to Ralle, in 1 M. ii. 51. 


jhap. colors, came to Georgetown, upon the Arrowsick Island, ao 
^J^^ companied by two Jesuits, and left a threatening message for 

1721. the governor. 1 The House took notice of this affair ; and 
towards the close of the session the governor was prevailed 
upon to consent that three hundred men should be sent to the 
head quarters of the Indians with a proclamation, commanding 
them to "deliver up the Jesuits, and the other heads and 
fomenters of this rebellion, and to make satisfaction for dam- 
ages.' 7 The prosecution of this enterprise was delayed from 

Nov. 3. time to time, when the House took the matter in hand, and a 
party was sent to Norridgewock, under Colonel Thomas "West- 
abrooke, who returned with the papers of Rasles, but not his 
person, " his faithful disciples having taken care to secure his 
person, and to fly with him into the woods." 2 The seizure of 
Castine, a natural son of the Baron Castine, who was brought 
to Boston and put in close confinement, tended further to exas- 

1722. perate the French ; and in the ensuing year, sixty Indians, in 
" twenty canoes, went to Merry Meeting Bay, and took nine 

families prisoners, while other parties made an attempt upon a 
fishing vessel from Ipswich, lying in one of the eastern harbors, 
and burned a sloop at St. George's River. These hostile acts 
were followed by the burning of Brunswick ; and in the fol- 
Aug. lowing August a declaration of war was issued ; but 'the House 
presuming to determine the service in which the troops were 
to be employed, the governor informed them that " the king, 
his master, and the royal charter, had given him the sole com- 
mand and direction of the militia, and all the forces which 
might be raised on any emergency ; and that he should not 
suffer himself to be under any direction but his own. and those 
officers he should think fit to appoint." 3 The controversy 
which ensued upon this point, as well as upon the attempt of 
the House to assume the management of the war, and to call 

1 Boston News Letter, No. 917; z Boston News Letter, No. 946 
Belknap, ii. 51. Belknap, ii. 51, 52. 

■ Belknap, il 52. 


to their bar Colonel Walton, to "render his reasons why the chap. 
orders relating to the expedition to Penobscot had not been ^^^ 
executed," was continued for some time, when the governor, 1722-23. 

Jan. 1. 

who had secretly obtained leave to return to England, left the 
province, unknown to nearly every one, to lay his grievances 
before the king. 1 

At the departure of Colonel Shute, the functions of the chief 
magistracy devolved upon William Dummer, the lieutenant gov- 
ernor, who remained at the head of affairs for the next six 
years. In his first speech to the court, reluctant to renew the Jan. 2. 
controversy which had imbittered the administration of his 
predecessor, he expressed his willingness to " concur with them 
in any measure for his majesty's service, and the good of the 
province." Samuel Sewall, the sole surviving assistant under 
the charter of Charles I., and the uncompromising advocate 
of the liberties of the people, replied to this speech ; and his 
reply was characteristic of the man and of the past. " Although 
the unerring providence of God " — such were his words — 
"has brought your honor to the chair of government in a 
cloudy and tempestuous season, yet you have this for your 
encouragement, that the people you have to do with are part 
of the Israel of God, and you may expect to have of the pru- 
dence and patience of Moses communicated to you for your 
conduct. It is evident, that our almighty Saviour counselled 
the first planters to remove hither and settle here ; and they 
dutifully followed his advice, and therefore he will never leave 
nor forsake them nor theirs ; so that your honor must needs 
be happy in sincerely seeking their happiness and welfare, 
which your birth and education will incline you to do. Diffi- 
cilia quce pulchra. I promise myself, that they who sit at this 
board will yield their faithful advice to your honor, according 
to the duty of their place." 2 

As the object of Governor Shute's return to England was to 

1 Boston News Letter, Nos. 987, 2 Boston News Letter, No. 989 ; 
988, 989 j Hutchinson, ii. 260, 261. Hutchinson, ii. 264. 



chap, complain of the conduct of the legislature, measures for defence 
w ^ w were promptly taken. Mr. Anthony Sanderson was recom- 

1723. mended by Mr. Popple, of the plantation office, as qualified for 
agent of the province ; and the House sent their papers to him 

May. to be used as they should order. 1 At the next annual court, 
no advices had been received from England. Accordingly, the 
House chose their speaker, and placed him in the chair with- 
out presenting him to the governor for confirmation : and in 

Oct. 23. other matters saw fit to assert their own rights. 2 By the fall, 
the heads of complaint against the province were received. 3 

Oet. 26. The House immediately voted that these were groundless, 
and ordered one hundred pounds sterling to be remitted to 
Mr. Sanderson, to employ counsel to justify their proceed- 
ings ; but the Council non-concurred. The House then pre- 
pared an answer to the complaint, and an address to the king ; 
but these, too, the Council refused to approve. Upon this 
the speaker was ordered to sign the papers, and they were 
forwarded to England. The Council prepared a separate 
address, which was forwarded to Colonel Shute. At the same 
time, with the consent of the Council, agents were sent to 
England on behalf of the province to appear in its defence ; 
and Jeremiah Dummer and Elisha Cooke were chosen for that 
purpose. 4 
j u iy. Meanwhile the depredations of the Indians were continued 
at the eastward ; and Canseau was surprised, and sixteen or 
seventeen vessels belonging to Massachusetts were taken. 5 In 

1724. the following year further incursions were made, and the war 
u y * raged fiercely. Father Rasles had hitherto escaped ; but at 

Aug. 12. length he was surprised at his head quarters at Norridgewock, 
and, being fired upon, was slain. The Indians, panic-struck, 

1 Hutchinson. ter, No. 1041 ; Collection of Proceed- 

2 Mass. Rec's, and Hutchinson, ings of Gen. Court, 36, 37 ; Hutchin- 
vol. ii. son, ii. 271-273. 

3 Collection of Proceedings of Gen. 5 Hutchinson, ii. 266, 267 j Hali- 
Court, 36, 37. burton's N. S. i. 102, 103. 

4 Mass. Rec's ; Boston News Let- 


hastily fled. The English pursued until they took to the chap 
woods, when they returned, plundered the village, and ran- ^^ 
sacked the church. 1 Subsequently the government of the 1724. 
province increased the premium on Indian scalps to one hun- 
dred pounds of the ordinary currency. John Lovewell, an 
enterprising partisan warrior, encouraged by this bounty raised 
a company of volunteers, and made one or two successful expe- 1724-25 
ditions ; but venturing out a third time, to a place called and 


Pigwacket, he was surprised and slain, with several of his May 8. 
followers. 2 A cessation of arms followed ; a treaty of peace 1725. 


was agreed upon at Boston ; in the following year, the lieuten- 
ant governor in person, attended by gentlemen of the court, 
the lieutenant governor of New Hampshire, and General Mas- 
carene, of Nova Scotia, ratified the same at Falmouth ; a long 1726. 
peace ensued ; and provisions were made for the erection of 
trading houses on the St. George, the Kennebec, and the Saco 
Rivers, where the Indians were supplied with goods on more 
favorable terms than they had been furnished by the French. 
Thus ended the Indian difficulties, which had lasted nearly 
forty years ; and for the twenty years following but little dis- 
turbance occurred. 3 

The affairs of the province abroad were still in an unsettled 
state. Soon after the arrival of the new agents in England, a 
second memorial was presented by Governor Shute, complain- 
ing of matters transacted subsequently to his departure from 
Massachusetts. Upon this memorial hearings were had ; but June 5 
the determination of the lords of trade, and of his majesty in 
council, were, for the most part, unfavorable to the province. 

1 Boston News Letter, Nos. 1074, H. vol. i. ; Holmes, Am. Ann. i. 536, 
1085 ; Hutchinson, ii. 273-284 ; Char- 537. 

levoix ; Belknap, ii. 60 ; Haliburton's 3 Colman's Mems. in 1 M. H. Coil. 

N. S. i. 104, 105. vi. 10S; Hutchinson, ii. ; Belknap, vol. 

2 This was long known as the Pig- i. ; Holmes, i. 538 ; N. H. Hist. Coll. 
wacket Fight; and a narrative of the ii. 257, 258. Articles of peace with 
same, by Thomas Symmes, was after- the Indians were subscribed Julv 25, 
wards published. See also Penhallow, 1727. N. H. Hist. Coll. ii. 260-263. 
in N. H. Hist. Coll. ; Belknap's N. 


chap. The acts and votes relative to the king's woods and the regu- 
^3^, lation of military affairs were adjudged indefensible, and the 

1726. agents were advised to a humble acknowledgment of the 
same. The power of the governor to negative the speaker, 
however, and to prevent the adjournment of the House, was 

Au ? . 12. not esteemed so clear ; and an explanatory charter was drawn 

17 2i5-2i\>, 

Jan. 15. up, which the province saw fit to accept. By this instrument, 

the power to negative the speaker was expressly conceded to 

the governor, and the time to which the House might adjourn 

was limited to two days. 1 The affair of the synod, which 

1725. occurred about this time, was less important in its bearings, 

May 27. 

' and is chiefly interesting as indicating the change which was 
taking place in public sentiment, and the successful resistance 
of the mother country to the paramount influence of the pro- 
vincial clergy. 2 

The decision of the questions brought by Colonel Shute 
before the lords of trade left him at liberty to return to his 
government. 3 But he was unwilling to embark save in a man- 
of-war, and no vessel of that class was then ready to leave. 
Hence his departure was delayed until the summer of 1727, 
when, just as he was on the eve of sailing, the king suddenly 

1727. deceased. Upon the accession of George II. a change in the 
ministry followed ; a pension of six hundred pounds was settled 
on Colonel Shute ; and the office of governor of Massachusetts 
was conferred on William Burnet, formerly governor of New 
York, and a son of Bishop Burnet, the historian of the refor- 
mation, conspicuous in the revolution of 1688, and a steadfast 
friend of the house of Hanover. 4 

1 Report, in Lib. Mass. Hist. Soc, Mr. Cooke, and that he will see New 
shelf 3, 32, tract 12 ; Charter and England again, let it cost what it will. 
Laws, ed. 1726, pp. 13, 14 ; Hutchin- Nay, a gentleman here told me he 
son, ii. 288-290 ; Chalmers, Revolt, ii. heard him swear it, which he wondered 
27-30 ; Minot, i. 60 ; Letter of John at, for he had never heard him swear 
Colman, in 1 M. H. Coll. ii. 31-35. an oath before in his life." Colman's 

2 Hutchinson, ii. 291, 292 ; Chal- Letter, in 1 M. H. Coll. ii. 33. 
mers, Revolt, ii. 31. 4 Hutchinson, ii. 293, 294. No- 

3 " I hear the governor saith, he tices of Bishop Burnet may be seen in 
will try who shall be governor, he or the Boston News Letter, Nos. 1081, 


Pe ding the arrival of Mr. Burnet, the administration of chap. 
affairs continued in the hands of Lieutenant Governor Dum- ^J^ 
mer ; and, as complaints of the decline of trade continued, a 1727-28. 
fresh issue of sixty thousand pounds in bills of credit was 
voted. This bill his excellency at first refused to sanction ; Feb. 
but, upon his salary's being withheld, he was prevailed upon to 
sign it, notwithstanding it was contrary to the king's instruc- 
tions. 1 Nor was this the only way in which the spirit of the 
House was manifested, as their contests with the Council 1728. 
evince, upon the election of civil officers, and the decision of 
private causes heard before both houses. 2 The land fever, 
which raged at this time with a fury nearly equal to that of the 
famous Mississippi scheme, gave rise to chimerical projects for 
the improvement of the waste parts of the province ; and for 
the first, not for the last time, the speculation in eastern lands 
became a mania, and was pursued with a zeal which ended, in 
many cases, in the ruin of the projectors, and to the detriment 
of the province. 3 

Never was governor more pompously received than was July. 
Governor Burnet. The press and the pulpit labored with 
addresses ; and men seemed to vie with each other in outward 
expressions of joy. No poet laureate, indeed, was paid to 
announce his arrival ; but the poet of the province, and the 
wittiest of his day, put forth his best efforts to celebrate the 
event. 4 Nor were the people behind him in testifying their July ia 

1082. Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 124, says a specimen of his effusion on the oc- 

Burnet was sent to Massachusetts, casion: — 

* not so much as a favor as a punish- <iWelcome< great man to our desiring eveg; 

ment, because he had. onended, the Thou earth ! proclaim it ; and resound, ye 

Board of Trade bv printing their pro- . skies r 

j. j TT " /• t-it i Pi 1 Voice answering voice, in joyiul consort 

ceedings, and Horatio \V alpole by un- meetj ° J 

Successful support." The hills all echo, and the rocks repeat. 

1 Man* 'Rpp's • fhartpr and Laws And thou, Boston, mistress of the towns, 

Mass. ±iec s , unarter ana i,aws TVhom the pleas , d Bay with am , rous arma 
of the Province; Hutchinson, n. 29 o- surrounds, 

298 : Douo-las, in 4 M. H. Coll. ii. I*t thy warm transports hlaze in num'rous 


And beaming glories glitter on thy spires ; 
Mass. Rec's ; Hutchinson, ii. 298. Let rockets streaming up the ether glare, 

And flaming serpents hiss along the air." 

3 Mass. Rec's ; Hutchinson, ii. 299, 
300 3 Williamson's Me. ii. Drake's Hist. Bost. 581. 

4 Mather Byles. The folio-wing ia 


chap, respect ; for gay cavalcades paraded the streets, which were 
^J^ crowded with people, and the concourse was greater than had 
1728. ever been known. 1 But these nattering attentions, dictated 
by policy, neither blinded the governor to the real state of 
feeling, nor did they deter him from prosecuting his predeter- 
mined plans. The very parade with which he was received 
was used as an argument to prove the ability of the people to 
grant him a liberal support ; and, as this was a matter upon 
which the monarchs had insisted, and which he was instructed 
July 24. to enforce, in his first speech he acquainted the court with his 
majesty's directions, and his intention to adhere to them. The 
House was not intimidated. Yet, as it was not their design at 
the outset to push things to an extremity, a grant of seA^enteen 
July 27. hundred pounds was made towards his support, and to defray 
July 30. the charge of his journey ; but this he refused to accept. A 
Aug. 6. special grant of three hundred pounds was then made for the 
charge of his journey, which he received ; but the court refused 
to establish a fixed salary. In vain did the governor remon- 
strate ; in vain did he threaten. The representatives of the 
people understood their interests too well to sacrifice them at 
the royal pleasure ; and by settling a fixed salary, they saw at 
once that the governor would be independent of the legisla- 
ture, whereas by the system of annual grants he could not at 
pleasure control their proceedings, and a barrier would be 
maintained against the encroachments of the prerogative. 2 
The refractoriness of the House did not pass unrebuked ; 
Aug.28. and when a message was sent to the governor asking permis- 
sion to rise, it was refused until they had " finished the business 
for which the court was then sitting." Messages passed to 
and fro, and the affair became serious ; but the governor was 

1 For an account of these civilities, Douglas to Golden, in 4 M. H. ColL 
see Drake's Boston, 581. ii. 175-177, is significant, and shows 

2 Mass. Rec's ; Collection of Pro- the system of management which was 
ceedings of General Court, 39-51; recommended to Burnet to "bias" 
Hutchinson, ii. ; Minot, i. 59 ; Chal- the people. 

mers, Revolt, ii. 125. The letter of 


firm, and the House was intractable. In vain did his excel- chap 
lency insinuate that, if the House persisted in their refusal, ^_^ 
" the legislature of Great Britain would take iuto consider- 1728. 
ation the support of the government, and perhaps something 
besides " — meaning the charter. This message added fuel to 
the flame ; and the House, in their own vindication, drew up a 
paper to transmit to the towns for their instruction, giving an Sep. 11 
account of the state of the controversy, and the reasons which 
influenced them in refusing to submit to his demand. 1 The 
towns responded to this call ; and Boston, in particular, ever 
foremost to support liberty, avowed its aversion to the propo- 
sals of the king. 2 A few persons, indeed, counselled com- 
pliance ; and, friendly to the prerogative principally from 
interested motives, they urged that the present controversy 
must terminate, like the last, in favor of the crown ; and that, 
if the province would not peaceably yield, more forcible meas- 
ures might be adopted, or a change be made in the charter, as 
under the administration of Shute. Besides, Governor Burnet 
himself was an amiable gentleman; in his manners he was 
easy, and his talents were conspicuous. His conversational 
powers were the delight of intelligent circles ; and, aside from 
his official position, he was in most respects as acceptable to 
the people as either of his predecessors. Why, then, it was 
asked, drive from us so excellent a magistrate ? Why not meet 
him halfway? But the majority of the House was still firm ;" 
and all that could be obtained was a vote granting the gov- Sep. 20 
ernor the sum of three thousand pounds of the currency of the 
province, equal to one thousand pounds sterling, for half a 

1 Mass. Rec's ; Collection of Pro- governor." Hutchinson, ii. 315. It 
ceedings of General Court, 51-65; is a somewhat singular coincidence, 
Hutchinson, ii. that, whilst Massachusetts was con- 

2 A general meeting was heldf at tending with Governor Burnet against 
which a vote was passed, and ordered granting a fixed salary, a similar con- 
to be printed, called " the unanimous troversy was contemporaneously agi- 
declaration of the inhabitants of Bos- tating the people ofBarbadoes. Hutch- 
ton against fixing a salary upon the inson, ii. 313, 314. 


chap, year, for the management of public affairs ; but this he refused 
^^ to accept. 
1728. Soon the affair reached its crisis ; and, in consequence of the 

Oct. 24. 

vote of the people of Boston, the governor adjourned the court 
to Salem — jocosely remarking, as he did so, that " there might 
be a choice in the names of places, and he was at a loss whether 
to carry them to Salem or to Concord." l But the House viewed 
the matter seriously ; and, so far from approving the adjourn- 
ment, denounced it as a further hardship, and an earnest of the 
intention of the governor to harass them into compliance. 

Oct. 31. Their first vote on assembling at Salem was in accordance with 
this feeling ; and, after censuring the course of his excellency 

Nov.i4. as " illegal and a great grievance," they requested to be per- 
mitted to meet again in Boston; but this was refused. No 
alternative was left, therefore, but to remain in Salem ; and 
they did remain, supported by their constituents, who voted to 
defray their expenses, and who provided for them liberally. 2 

Nov.22. At length, wearied with the altercation, and persuaded of 
the justness of their cause, the House resolved to apply to his 

Dec. 20. majesty for redress. Mr. Francis Wilkes, a New England 

merchant then resident in London, was selected as their agent, 

and Mr. Jonathan Belcher, a member of the Council, and a 

young man of pleasing address, was joined with him. Grants 

Dec. 20, were made to defray their expenses ; but the Council refused 
1 70Q 
an d' to sanction these grants. Immediately the people of Boston 

1729. ; interposed, and, by a subscription among the merchants and 

Apr. 16. thers, a sufficient sum was raised and placed at the disposal 

of the House. For this a vote of thanks was returned, with a 

promise of the repayment of the loan at some future date. 3 

May. The appeal to England was unsuccessful. The Board of 

Trade severely censured the course of the House, .and approved 


1 Hutchinson, ii. 316. 3 Mass. Rec's ; Coll. Proceedings 

2 Mass. Rec's ; Coll. Proceedings Gen. Court, 96-109 ; Hutchinson, ii. 
Gen. Court, 90-95 ; Chalmers, Re- 318. 

volt, ii. 127 ; Hutchinson, ii. 317, 318. 


that of the governor ; and the agents informed them that, if chap. 
they persisted in refusing to comply with the king's demands, v ' 
the affair would be carried before Parliament ; but the House 1729 
thought it better, should such a course be taken, that a " salary 
should be fixed by the supreme legislature than by the legisla- 
ture of the province : better the liberties of the people should 
be taken away from them, than given up by their own act." 
Nor were they without friends to sustain them in this course. 
Already the storm was rising which threatened the overthrow 
of Walpole ; and if the matter was brought before Parliament, 
support was promised by the opponents of the ministry. 1 

The other matters in dispute with Mr. Burnet were of less 
importance, and occupied less of the time of the House. His 
refusal to sign the warrant for the payment of their expenses 
was a retaliation for their refusal to pay his salary ; and his 
attempt to establish a new fee from a " let pass " on vessels, 
which was resisted by the House, was disallowed by the lords 
of trade. His refusal to submit to the choice of an attorney 
general, unless nominated by himself, and his attempt to con- 
trol the treasury, awakened further opposition ; but the settle- 
ment of this controversy was left to his successor. 2 

The decision of the lords of trade was adverse to the prov- May zs 

1 Hutchinson, ii. 320 ; Chalmers's will at once restore themselves to his 

Revolt, ii. 128 ; Hildreth, ii. 347. majesty's favor, and put an end to 

Mr. Dummer wrote a letter on this the confusions and distractions among 

occasion, dated August 10, 1729, ad- themselves. New England justly 

vising compliance with his majesty's boasts of her loyalty ; but methinks it 

instructions. " I am not afraid," he would not be amiss if to that we add- 

says, " to add my hearty wishes that ed a little complaisance to the crown, 

the assembly would, of choice and by if such an expression may be allowed, 

their own consent, comply with his ... I am afraid if we don't do it 

majesty's instructions, and fix the gov- willingly, we shall be compelled to do 

ernor's salary for the time of his gov- it unwillingly. The ministers are de- 

ernment, or for a term of years. I termined to lay it before Parliament ; 

am of opinion that they cannot do a and if they bring in the bill, who will 

wiser or better thing in their present undertake to get it thrown out ? " 

circumstances. As they have agreed Lett, in Lib. Mass. Hist. Soc, shelf 3, 

on the quantum, and have determined 8, tract 2. 

to give it annually, it's a pity they 2 Hutchinson, ii. 321, 322 ; Hil- 

won't go a step farther, and make it a dreth, ii. 347. 
resolve of the House, by which they 


chap, ince ; and a demand was made that " a salary of one thousand 
s _J^^ pounds sterling per annum should be settled upon the governor 
1729. during the whole time of his government." The governor 
attempted to enforce this demand by adjourning the court 
from time to time ; but to no purpose. The House grew 
warmer in their votes and messages, and complained that they 
were to be " compelled to measures against their judgment, by 
being harassed and driven from one part of the province to 
another." In the midst of the struggle the governor died. 
Sept. 7. Some attributed his death to chagrin ; others to a cold caught 
by the overturning of his carriage as he was crossing the cause- 
way at Cambridge, by which he was thrown into the water, 
and thoroughly chilled. His funeral was pompously celebrated 
at the charge of the province, and the administration again 
passed into the hands of Mr. Dummer. 1 

At the death of Mr. Burnet, Jonathan Belcher, a native of 
Massachusetts, and a gentleman of aspiring talents and abun- 
dant wealth, who had been recently sent to England as the 
agent of the province, applied for the commission of the gov- 
ernment, and, through the influence of Shute, whom he had 
aided on a similar occasion, he received the appointment. The 
ministry, it is said, were the more willing to accede to his 
appointment from the difficulty of finding a person of suitable 
qualifications, who, in the distracted state of the affairs of the 
province, would accept the office. Besides, from the fact that 
Mr. Belcher was a citizen of Boston, and popular among his 
countrymen, it was supposed that the people might be more 
easily prevailed upon by him than by a stranger to comply 
with his majesty's demands, which, the longer they were re- 
fused, increased in importance, and which it concerned his 
prerogative peremptorily to enforce. But if the ministry reck- 

1 Mass. Rec's ; N. Eng. Weekly duct of Governor Burnet in harassing 

Journal of Sept. 8 ; Hutchinson, ii. the House as " equally unconstitution- 

324-326 ; Drake's Boston, 582. Chal- al and contrary to principle." 
mers, Revolt, ii. 131, censures the con- 


oned upon cajoling the people by flattery, they were destined chap. 
to find themselves sadly mistaken. The statesmen of New ^J^ 
England were too wary to be easily insnared, and the liberties 1730. 
of the people were too precious to be voluntarily relinquished. 1 

The arrival of Governor Belcher was signalized by the Aug 
usual professions of loyalty and respect, and ministers wel- 
comed him in public discourses. 2 At the first session of the 
General Court, however, it was evident from his speech that, Sept. 9. 
whatever expectations had been formed of him, he was re- 
solved, equally with Governor Burnet, to insist upon a compli- 
ance with his majesty's instructions for the settlement of a 
salary, which was fixed at a thousand pounds, to be paid out 
of the annual grants. In case of the refusal of the House to 
comply, he was not only required to return immediately to 
England, but, it was added, "his majesty will find himself 
under a necessity of laying the undutiful behavior of the prov- 
ince before the legislature of Great Britain, not only in this 
single instance, but in many others of the same nature and ten- 
dency, whereby it manifestly appears that this assembly, for 
some years last past, has attempted, by unwarrantable practices, 
to weaken, if not to cast off, the obedience they owe to the 
crown, and the dependence which all colonies ought to have 
on their mother country." 3 

The House met these demands as they had those of former 
years, making a grant to Mr. Belcher of one thousand pounds, 
as a gratuity for his services in England and to defray the 
expense of his voyage, and another thousand to enable him " to 
manage the public affairs." The Council concurred in these 
votes, but desired a specification that the last sum should be 
granted annually ; but the House refused to accept this amend- 

1 Hutchinson, ii. 328 ; Chalmers's went to oppose, is a little surprising ; 
Revolt, ii. 132-134. but some providences, like Hebrew 

2 Mr. Gay, of Hingham, preached letters, must be read backwards, as 
a sermon on the occasion. Mr. Flavel well remarks." MS. Let- 

3 Mass. Rec's; Hutchinson, ii. 333, ter of Josiah Smith, of Feb. 8, 1730, 
334. " Governor Belcher's returning in Mass. Hist. Soc, MS. Letters and 
wit^i the same instructions which he Papers, 1721-1760. 

VOL. II. 9 


chap, ment, and rejected a second, that the sum should be paid an- 
^^ nually " during his excellency's continuance in the government." 

1730. A conference ensued in the presence of the governor, who, 
partly by threats and partly by flattery, attempted to shake 
their resolution ; but neither his speech, nor the arguments of 
the Council, produced any effect. The Boston members were 
the most resolute, while many from the country were inclined 
to yield ; and, as the governor himself was not unpopular, it 
is possible that the settlement of a salary during his adminis- 
tration might have been effected, had it not been for establish- 
ing a precedent for the future. 1 But the governor was an 
adroit politician, and knew how to accommodate himself to 
the prejudices of his countrymen, without, at the same time, 
relinquishing the attempt to enforce his majesty's instructions. 
Hence, by adopting the policy of appointing to office those 
whose favor he was anxious to secure, the number of his ad- 
herents rapidly increased, and the Council, in particular, was 
remarkably complaisant. 

1731. A year rolled by, and but little had been effected. The gov- 
ernor continued, though prudently, to press the instructions 
of the king ; but the House insisted that the settlement of 
a salary would "deprive the people of their rights as Eng- 
lishmen." Besides, the English press had told the Bostonians 
"how much their noble stand against the unconstitutional 
demands oi Burnet had endeared them to all lovers and assert- 
ors of liberty in Britain," and this encouragement strengthened 
their opposition. 2 At length a bill was prepared, which, after 
granting the sum of thirty-four hundred pounds of the currency 

1 Mass. Rec's; Hutchinson, ii. 334, ince ; but when the governor found 

335. A further grant of £500 was that this very money was afterwards 

made to the governor for his services employed to promote complaints 

as agent in England ; and the sum of against himself, he regretted having 

£1500, which had been advanced by given his consent to the bill, and saw 

the merchants of Boston, was ordered too late the advantage it conferred 

to be paid. The House likewise upon his opponents in effecting his 

passed a vote appropriating £500 ad- removal. 

ditional to be deposited in the Bank 2 Hutchinson, ii. 335, 336 ; Chal- 

of England for the use of the prov- mers, Revolt, ii. 134; Hildreth, ii. 350. 


of the province, equal to about a thousand pounds sterling, for chap. 
the salary of the governor, proceeded to enact, that, as his ^^ 
majesty had been graciously pleased to appoint Jonathan Bel- 1731. 
cher, Esq., to be their governor, who was a native of the coun- 
try, whose fortune was here, and who, when a member of the 
Council as well as in a private station, had always consulted 
the true interest of his country as well as the honor and dig- 
nity of the crown, therefore it is most solemnly promised, that 
there shall be granted the like sum for the like purpose at the 
beginning of the sessions in May, every year during the gov- 
ernor's continuance in the administration and residence within 
the province, " provided this act shall not be pleaded as a pre- 
cedent, or binding on any future assembly, for fi x ing a salary 
on any succeeding governor." x 

The governor approved this bill, but it failed to pass ; and 
from that time forward, despairing of success, he applied him- ApriL 
self to obtain a relaxation of his instructions. In this he suc- 
ceeded so far as to have leave from the Duke of Newcastle to Aug. 
receive the sum granted for one year, and eventually a general 
leave to receive such sums as should be granted was forwarded 1735. 
to him. Thus terminated one of the most memorable, and in 
some respects interesting, conflicts, between the crown and the 
province, which its political history hitherto affords. The 
Gordian knot remained untied. 2 

The war with Spain, which broke out before the close of 1739. 
the administration of Mr. Belcher, exerted some influence upon 
the destinies of New England. It was resolved by the British 
court to undertake an expedition to Cuba ; and Governor 
Belcher received orders to encourage the enlistment of men mo. 

Apr. 29 

from Massachusetts. Admiral Vernon had already appeared 17 3 9# ' 
before Porto Bello ; in a few days he took possession of the Nov * 
town and the castle, and subsequently took and demolished Fort 
Chagre. It was for his relief that the present supplies were 

1 Hutchinson, ii. 337. 

2 Hutchinson, ii. 338 ; Minot, i. 62 ; Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 134, 139. 


chap, destined ; and the northern colonies were required to contrib- 
>- J^ ute four battalions to the armament. No colony refused its 

1740. quota ; and Massachusetts, ever prompt to testify her loyalty, 
sent forth, both from the old colony and from towns in the 
vicinity of Boston, a body of five hundred of her young men, 
many of whom fell victims to the unhealthiness of the climate, 
or came home with shattered constitutions to die. 1 The result 
of this war was still further to impoverish the province, and 
embarrass its finances. 

The pecuniary controversies which followed filled up the 
remainder of the administration of Mr. Belcher. He had been 
instructed by the king not to consent to the issue of bills of 
credit to remain current beyond the year 1741 ; but, in spite 
of these instructions, and as a protection against the legisla- 
tion of Rhode Island, which had issued one hundred thousand 

1733. pounds in bills of credit, a number of the merchants of Boston 
organized a company, and issued one hundred and ten thousand 
pounds, redeemable in ten years at a certain fixed rate. 2 At a 

1739 later period a new scheme was devised, said to have been 

1741. approved by Rev. Mr. Colman, and a company of eight hun- 
dred members was organized, known as the "Land Bank 
Company," with a capital of one hundred and fifty thousand 
pounds lawful money. 3 This scheme was opposed by the gov- 
ernor, and a large number of the statesmen of the province 
apprehended evil from it ; but it was popular with many, per- 
haps with a majority ; and threats of civil disturbance were 
made if its operations were suspended. 4 At this stage Parlia- 
ment interposed, and declared that " the act of King G-eorge 

1 Mass. Rec's ; Belknap's N. H. ii. 2 Laws of the Province, ed. 1726 ; 

173, 174 ; Marshall's Washington, i. Mass. Rec's ; Hutchinson, ii. 

333 ; Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 235 ; Ban- 3 Mass. Rec's ; MS. documents in 

croft, iii. 438-442 ; Hildreth, ii. 377- the possession of the author; Account 

379; Winsor's Duxbury, 116, 117. of the Rise, Progress, and Conse- 

Franklin, "Works, iv. 188, says the quences of the Land Bank Scheme, 

colonies sent 3000 men to join the pub. 1744 ; Hutchinson, ii. 

army in the expedition against Car- 4 Hobart's Hist. Abington, 170. 


I., chap. 18, did, does, and shall extend to the colonies and chap. 
plantations in America ;" and the company was dissolved. 1 ^Z^, 

The boundary lines between Massachusetts and New Hamp- 
shire, and Plymouth and Ehode Island, had been in dispute 
from the first settlement of the country ; and though frequent 1737 
attempts had been made for their adjustment, one party or the 1741. 
other remained dissatisfied, and the controversy was opened 
afresh. These lines were settled during this administration, 
adversely to Massachusetts, which lost a large tract to the 
north, assigned to New Hampshire, and another to the south, 
assigned to Rhode Island. 2 

The opposition of Mr. Belcher to the currency schemes of 
the province, and his agency in their defeat, rendered him 
obnoxious to their numerous favorers ; and these, joined to 
other measures, afforded a sufficient inducement to his enemies 
to solicit his removal. By forged and anonymous letters, and 
the help of unscrupulous falsehoods, his friends in England 
were prejudiced against him ; and, as he had failed to fulfil 
the expectations which had been formed of him, little difficulty 
was experienced in obtaining the consent of the lords of trade 
to his displacement. 3 How far he would have succeeded in the 
management of affairs under the new state of things, about to 
be introduced, it may be difficult to say. His qualifications 
for the chief magistracy were certainly as good as those 
of his predecessors. He was a native of New England, ac- 
quainted with its institutions, and to a certain extent imbued 
with its prejudices. He had early enjoyed the advantages of 
a good education, which were improved by travel, and by inter- 
course with intelligent circles in Europe. Graceful in his per- 
son, and generous in his hospitality, he was a favorite with all 
with whom he associated ; and, ambitious of distinction, he was 
enabled by his wealth to gratify his taste for public display. 

1 Hutchinson* ii. 352-355. 3 Hutchinson, ii. 355-358 ; Bel- 

2 Hutchinson, ii. 342-350, 358- knap's N. H. ii. 174-180 ; Hildreth, 
860. ii. 380. 


chap. Condescending in his manners, lie was popular with the mass- 
^'^_ es ; and, though he was a known friend to the prerogative, and 
1741. a moderate supporter of the claims of the crown, he was not 
suspected of disloyalty to liberty, or of a want of regard to the 
welfare of New England. Perhaps, on the whole, it was for- 
tunate for him, and fortunate for the province, that his admin- 
istration terminated before he had done any thing to deserve 
the public censure. To the weak points in his character little 
prominence had been given ; but had he been involved in some 
sterner conflict, in which the crown and the province were 
alike interested, he would have been compelled to elect between 
the frowns of the monarch and the aversion of his countrymen 
— to " luff for the one or bear away for the other ; " x and 
whichever way his choice fell, his position would have been 
embarrassing. His integrity was vindicated in England ; and, 
1747 receiving an appointment as governor of New Jersey, there 
he passed the remainder of his life in comparative repose. 2 

1 Governor Belcher to the Earl of ii. 180 ; Mulford's New Jersey, 349. 
Leven after his appointment as gov- His death occurred in August, 1757. 
ernor of New Jersey. Mulford, 360. 

2 Hutchinson, ii. ; Belknap's N. H. 



The successor of Mr. Belcher, destined for a long time to chap. 


act a conspicuous part in American affairs, was William Shirley, ^^. 
a native of Sussex, in England, and a lawyer of respectable 1741. 
talents, who had resided in Boston for the last eight years. 
The news of his appointment arrived during his absence at July. 
Ehode Island, as counsel before the commissioners to adjust 
the boundary line in dispute between the governments ; and 
immediately upon its reception he hastened home, to assume 
the charge confided to his trust. The affairs of the province 
were sadly perplexed. The derangement in the finances had 
been increased by the expenses of the late Spanish war ; the 
difficulties with the Land Bank party were at their height ; 
and in this dark hour it devolved upon him, as the chief magis- 
trate, to point out a remedy for the evils which existed, and 
evolve from chaos order and harmony. By his instructions, he 
was to consent to no act continuing the bills in circulation 
beyond the time fixed for their redemption ; but as this would 1741. 
have burdened the people with an unusual tax, a substitute 
was devised, which, while it preserved the spirit of his majes- 
ty's commands, violated their letter for the public relief. The 
project reported by the House, in which the governor con- 
curred, provided that all special contracts should be payable 
in silver at six shillings and eight pence per ounce, or gold in 
proportion ; and bills of a new form were issued, which were 
to be received in payment of public and private dues, with the 
understanding that, if they depreciated in value, a proportion- 


chap, ate addition should be made to the debts contracted for their 
w _ v _ o _ equitable cancelment. But this bill was unpopular, nor would 
1741. it have effectually prevented the depreciation of the currency. 
Besides, the act of Parliament was stringent in its require- 
ments ; and, however strenuous the exertions for relief from its 
severity, no measures could be adopted which were sure to be 
sanctioned in England. By prudent management, however, 
immediate dangers were obviated, and the governor had the 
good fortune to allay the storm which threatened ruin, without 
losing the confidence of the people, or exciting a formidable 
opposition to his measures. 1 
1740-43. It was during the administration of Mr. Shirley that the 
religious movement known as " the great awakening v agitated 
America. Massachusetts, as has been elsewhere remarked, was 
founded by Puritans, whose creed was the rigorous creed of 
Calvin. Their system of theology, whose influence is yet felt, 
and whose doctrines, in a modified form, are believed in our 
own day, was admirably adapted to the temper of the times, 
and was in keeping with the principles and policy of its advo- 
cates. It had its strong points, as has every system based 
upon the Scriptures ; and, if it did not contain the essence of 
all truth, it had enough to give to it vitality. Upon it the 
churches of the country had been reared. It had moulded the 
customs and laws of the colony. And no other faith, perhaps, 
would have been more serviceable at the time in strengthening 
and developing the character of the people. But, with the 
progress of settlement, and with the advancement of society, 
new forms of faith began to spring up ; and, before the close 
1699. of the seventeenth century, a church was established, 2 which 
has continued to this day to advocate views differing essen- 
tially from those of the Puritan creed. Indeed, entire uni- 
formity of belief never existed in New England. The first 

1 Hutchinson, ii. 361-363. lished by Drs. Palfrey and Lothrop. 

2 The Brattle Street Church, sketch- See also 1 M. H. Coll. Hi- 260, and 
es of whose history have been pub- Drake's Boston, 519. 


president of Harvard College was "heretical" on some points, chap. 
and his successor was equally obnoxious to censure. 1 Antino- ^X^ 
mians, Anabaptists, Gortonists, and Quakers were early intro- 1743. 
duced into the colony ; the advocates of Episcopacy followed ; 
and, when Arminian and Socinian doctrines were advanced, it 
seemed to those who had been brought up in the " straitest 
sect " of former days as if the floodgates of degeneracy were 
opened upon the world, and as if New England was to be 
buried beneath the waves of infidelity and apostasy. 

Nor were such fears unnatural. 1 Not that the new doctrines 
were in themselves reprehensible, — for there is, doubtless, 
more or less truth in all sectarian organizations, and each has 
its mission to perform in the world, — but changes in religion, 
in politics, and in natural science have been always denounced 
as rash and uncalled for ; and so deeply rooted is the conser- 
vative spirit, that a long time elapses before the world can be 
convinced that what is new is not necessarily evil, and may be 
an advance upon what had been formerly received. 

The controversy once opened, it raged fiercely for years. 
The pens of the disputants were dipped in gall. To acrimo- 
nious language succeeded bitterness of feeling. Neither party 
was remarkable for the moderation of its censures ; and the 
excesses of sectarian zeal, which were unhappily exhibited, fur- 
nish additional proof of the necessity of charity to temper our 
judgment of the past, to prevent us from hastily condemning 
what was rather the fruit of sincere conviction than the off- 
spring of malignity or personal depravity. It is refreshing to 
find occasionally one whose catholic spirit overlooked external 
forms, and discerned and commended the spirit of internal 
goodness. But if such cases were rare, they were not wholly 
wanting. There were a few wjio were willing that discussion 
should be tolerated, and who had no fears of the ultimate tri- 
umph of truth. It augurs well for the advancement of Chris- 

1 Presidents Dunster and Chauncy, the Puritan fathers on the subject of 
both of whom differed in opinion from baptism. 


chap, tianity when an eclectic spirit like this is displayed ; and when 
> _J^_, men ? reverencing the Scriptures above all creeds, seek to imbue 

their lives with the spirit of Jesus. The " millennium " will 
come when society is thus regenerated, but hardly before. 
The advent of Whitefield brought to a crisis the struggle 
1734. which had been secretly convulsing the community. Already 


" the Spirit of God " had begun " extraordinarily to set 
in, and wonderfully to work ; " and quite an excitement had 
been induced by the preaching and writings of Jonathan 
Edwards. 1 By the giant intellect of this eminent man form 
was given to the faith of the past, and fluctuating opinions were 
reduced to a system which, if its premises are admitted, leads 
to conclusions of the highest importance. Perhaps, at a later 
date, the system of Hopkins, the ablest of his disciples, was 
more bold and startling. That of Edwards, if severe, was 
exquisitely symmetrical ; and all must respect the mind which' 
framed it. It embodied the essence of Puritanism in its best 
days, and asserted the doctrines of the sovereignty of God and 
justification by faith. 2 

But if the system of Edwards was metaphysically exact, it 
was lacking in the elements which appeal to the affectional 
nature. In this respect Whitefield had greatly the advantage 
of him. His ardent enthusiasm wrought powerfully upon all. 
Gifted as an orator, and vain of his eloquence, which delighted 
the multitude, every where his progress was an ovation and a 
triumph. The excitement which his preaching produced was 
violent and intense ; and if it led to some extravagances, it 
was what might have been expected when the inflammable 
nature of our passions is considered, and the nervous diathesis 
developed by revivals. The ministers of the province were 
divided in opinion ; and, while some welcomed him as an ally, 
others denounced him as an "itinerant scourge." His adher- 
ents were the " new lights ; " his opponents were the " old 

1 Edwards, Narr. Surprising Con- 2 See the published works of Ed- 
yersions j the Great Awakening, 12. wards and Hopkins. 


lights ; " and between the two lay the party of reform, with chap 
Chauncy at its head, who by his abilities was admirably fitted ^J^^ 
to be the champion of progress. Edwards and Chauncy dif- 1743. 
fered in opinion as to the measures of Whitefield. The former 
was the advocate of the most rigid Calvinism. The tendencies 
of the latter were towards Universalism. 1 The clergy who 
opposed Whitefield were chiefly Arminians. A few Calvinists 
joined in his censure ; but the body of the followers of Edwards 
were his friends. 2 

The dispute lasted long ; and the press teemed with pam- 
phlets and more ponderous works, 3 which were poured out in 
profusion upon the community. Nearly every clergyman in 
the country participated in the controversy, and wrote or 
preached on the one side or the other. Indeed, it was the 
most thorough " awakening n hitherto known in New England ; 
and, while it was attended with the evils which usually flow 
from such sources, there can be no doubt that its influence was 
in many respects salutary. It led to discussion, and hastened 
the progress of light and truth. 4 

The difficulties with France, which had broken out at inter- 
vals from the peace of Utrecht, were renewed by the declara- 1713. 
tion of war in 1744. Previously to the reception of this dec- 1744. ' 
laration in Boston, an armament was fitted out at Louisburg "^ 2 * 
under Duvivier, which surprised the English garrison at Can- May 13. 
seau, took eighty prisoners, and broke up the fishery. 5 Annap- 
olis, in Nova Scotia, was likewise threatened ; and, as its 
defences were in a ruinous condition, at the solicitation of Mas- 
carene, the commander-in-chief, four companies of sixty men 
each were ordered to be raised in Massachusetts, and sent 

1 See the writings of Chauncy, and 4 The details of this controversy 
Whittemore's Hist, of Modern Uni- can be best learned from consulting 
versalism. the contemporary pamphlets already 

2 Hutchinson, Grahame, &c. alluded to. 

3 It would be impossible to enumer- 5 Mems. Last War, 19, 20, 3d ed., 
ate these pamphlets, which amounted 1758 ; Hutchinson, ii. 364 ; Belknap's 
to some hundreds. I have seen and N. H. ii. 189 ; Haliburton's N. S. i. 
read a very large number on both 107 ; Minot, i. 74. 

Bides of the controversy. ** 


chap, thither for the protection of the place. 1 Louisburg, on Cape 

^J^^ Breton, was at this time the stronghold of the French at the 

1744. east ; and, as the fortress was unfinished, and its capture was 

deemed of the utmost importance to New England, projects for 

its surprise were simultaneously started by several persons. 

April 9. Judge Auchmuty, of Boston, submitted proposals to the Eng- 
lish ministry for this object ; 2 and William Yaughan, of New 
Hampshire, advocated a like course ; 3 but Governor Shirley 
has been usually considered the planner of the expedition 
which was finally sent. 4 Having learned the condition of the 
fortress from prisoners liberated on parole, and having sent to 
Nov. England for vessels of war to protect the east, and communi- 
cated with Commodore Warren at the Leeward Islands, so- 

1744-45. liciting his aid, early in the winter, under an injunction of 
secrecy, the details of his plan were submitted to the legislature 
of the province for approval ; but so visionary did the scheme 
appear to many, that it was at first rejected, though, upon a 
reconsideration of the vote, at the urgent petition of merchants 
of Boston and Salem and the fishermen of Marblehead, it was 

Jan. 25. carried by a majority of a single vote. Arrangements Were 
made for the immediate prosecution of the enterprise, 5 and cir- 
culars were addressed to the other colonies, as far south as 
Pennsylvania, soliciting their aid ; but, with the exceptions of 
a grant of provisions from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and 
a train of artillery from New York, no general assistance was 
furnished, and the charge of the expedition devolved upon New 
England. 6 

1 Mass. Rec's ; Mems. Last War, Chauncy's Sermon, p. 9 ; 1 M. H. 
20-29 ; Hutchinson, ii. 364 ; Bel- Coll. vii. 69. 

knap's N. H. ii. 189 ; Haliburton's 5 Mass. Rec's ; Am. Mag. ii. 166 ; 

N. S. i. 108-110; Marshall's Wash- Mems. Last War, 34-37; Gibson's 

ington, i. 345. Jour. 16-19 ; Hutchinson, ii. 365- 

2 See 1 M. H. Coll. v. 202-205. 368 ; Grahame, ii. 166-168. The 

3 Importance of Cape Breton, &c, proclamation of the governor for en- 
Lond. 1746, p. 128; Journal of Pro- listments was issued January 26. 
ceedings of N. Eng. Forces, pub. at 6 Mass. Rec's ; Hutchinson, ii. 369 ; 
Exeter; Hutchinson, ii. 364; Bel- Marshall's Washington, i. 348-351; 
knap's N. H. ii. 197, 198. Parsons's Life of Pepperrell, 57. 

4 Prince's Sermon, Boston, 1745; 


The troops from Massachusetts consisted of three thousand chap 
two hundred and fifty men, exclusive of commissioned officers • _J^ 
Connecticut furnished five hundred and sixteen men ; New 1745. 
Hampshire furnished three hundred and four ; and Rhode 
Island three hundred, but the contingent of the latter did not 
arrive until the enemy had surrendered. 1 The naval force, 
besides transports, consisted of three frigates of twenty guns 
each, a " snow " of sixteen guns, a brigantine of twelve guns, 
and five sloops mounting from eight to twelve carriage guns, 
provided at the expense of Massachusetts ; the armed sloops 
of Connecticut and Rhode Island, each of sixteen guns ; and 
a small vessel from New Hampshire. The military munitions 
consisted of eight cannon carrying twenty-two pound balls, 
twelve carrying nine pound balls, two twelve inch mortars, and 
two of less diameter, taken from the Castle, and ten eighteen 
pound cannon borrowed from New York. 2 

Such was the armament which left Boston, under the convoy 
of Captain Rous, for the capture of a fortress so formidable 
as to be styled the " Dunkirk of America." 3 Soon after reach- Mar. 24 
ing Canseau, however, by order of the Duke of Bedford, first April t. 
lord of the admiralty, and afterwards secretary of state, the 

1 Mems. Last War, 42 ; Gibson's 3 ships of 20 guns, 2 vessels of 16 
Jour. 14-19 ; Prince's Sermon, 24 ; guns, and 2 of 8 guns, with about 100 
Journal of the Siege, 17 ; Shirley's transports, besides 1 vessel of 20 guns 
Speech of April 3, 1745, in Am. Mag. and 1 of 16 hired from Rhode Island, 
ii. 167 ; Hutchinson, ii. 371. Among 1 M. H. Coll. i. 15, speaks of 2 ves- 
the Pepperrell MSS. is a letter from sels from Rhode Island, both which 
Brigadier Waldo, dated July 4, 1745, were " miserable sailers." Bancroft, 
in which he says that Massachusetts iii. 460, says the N. Eng. forces had 
sent 3027 men ; New Hampshire, 500, but " 18 cannon and 3 mortars ; " but 
of whom 150 were in the pay of Mas- Parsons, Life of Pepperrell, 50, says the 
sachusetts ; and Connecticut, 500. whole number of guns in the fleet was 

2 Mems. Last War, 37 ; Am. Mag. 204, which is probably nearly correct 
ii. 169. Rolts's Impartial Represen- Perhaps Mr. Bancroft makes a dis- 
tation, iv. 13, is quoted in 1 M. H. tinction between the land and sea 
Coll. i. 110, as giving an account of forces; but even in this case, his 
this expedition and of the number of estimate is below that given in the 
troops engaged in it. Also, attached text. 

to a volume of sermons on the expe- 3 Pepperrell MSS. ; Prince's Ser- 

dition to Louisburg, in Lib. Mass. mon ; Belknap's N. H. ii. 195 ; Gra- 

Hist. Soc, is a list of the naval arma- hame, ii. 164. 
ment, which says Massachusetts sent 


chap, fleet from New England was joined by several of his majesty's 
^^ ships which had been cruising on the coast, and by the squad- 
1745. ron under Commodore "Warren, which sailed to the north to 
' act against the French. 1 

The command of this expedition, destined to shed lustre 
upon the valor of the provincialists, after some hesitation on 
his part, on account of the circumstances of his family and 
business, was intrusted to William Pepperrell, a native of Kit- 
tery, who, familiar with the perils of Indian warfare, had 
served as a colonel in a regiment of militia, and who, by his 
unblemished reputation and engaging manners, was popular in 
the Bay province as well as elsewhere in New England. 
Whitefield, as Wesley had done to Oglethorpe, gave to New 
Hampshire the motto its flag bore — " Nil desperandum, Christo 
Duce ; " and, as the expedition was viewed partly as a crusade 
against heretics, one of the chaplains, " Parson Moody," bore 
with him a hatchet to hew down the altars and images in the 
French churches. 2 Not a cloud dimmed the prospect of the 
adventurers as they embarked. A " guardian angel preserved 
the troops from the small pox," which was imported in one of 
the sloops taken into the service. 3 The French, so far from 
April 4. crediting the rumors of an invasion, treated them as idle and 
visionary tales. And, upon reaching Canseau, every thing was 
found quiet ; and the soldiers had only to wait the arrival of 
their allies and the melting of the ice, to proceed to the attack. 
It was observed, as a mark of the uncertainty of the enterprise, 
that, " if any one circumstance had taken a wrong turn on the 
side of the English, and if any one circumstance had not taken 

1 Letters in 1 M. H. Coll. i. 20, 21 ; 2 Chauncy's Sermon, 10 ; Hutch- 
Journal of the Siege, 19 ; Mems. Last inson, ii. 369 ; Belknap's N. H. ii. 202 
War, 40-43; Am. Mag. ii. 167, 168; -205; Haliburton's N. S. i. 115 j 
Hutchinson, ii. 371 ; Belknap, ii. 196 ; Gordon's Am. Rev. i. 82 ; Grahame, 
Minot's Mass. i. 75 ; Haliburton's N. ii. 169, 170 ; Parsons's Life of Pep- 
S. i. 1 15 ; Parsons's Life of Pepperrell, perrell, 51, 52, 128. 
59. The forces from New Hampshire 3 Douglas ; Prince's Thanks. Ser. 
arrived first at Canseau; those from 24; Prentice's Sermon, 33; Chaun- 
Massachasetts followed ; and those cy's Sermon, 15 j Belknap, ii. 206. 
from Connecticut arrived April 24. 


a wrong turn on the side of the French, the expedition must chap. 
have miscarried." But it was destined to succeed, notwith- ^J^ 
standing the inexperience of both officers and men. Fortune 1745. 
smiles sometimes upon even the novice in war. 1 

The scheme of Governor Shirley does not evince on his part 
extraordinary knowledge of military affairs. "Our success," 
says he, in a letter to Wentworth, the lieutenant governor of 
New Hampshire, " will depend on the execution of the first 
night after the arrival of our forces. The fleet must make 
Chapeau-Rouge by nine o'clock in the evening, when they can- 
not be easily seen, and from thence push into the bay, that all 
the men may be landed before midnight. The troops, divided 
into four companies, are to scale the walls at different points, 
and to attack the grand battery. The formation of these com- 
panies will take up at least two hours' time, and the march 
another two hours ; so that it will be four in the morning 
before the attack can be commenced. This will be a late 
hour ; so that the fleet must arrive punctually, or all may 
fail." 2 

It requires no uncommon sagacity to perceive that, if success 
depended on such conditions, the prospect was dubious. For 
how could the arrival of the vessels be so accurately timed ? 
How could the troops be landed on a strange coast in the 
darkness as readily as by daylight? And how could the 
march be made through thickets and bogs, and the attack con- 
ducted, by men ignorant of the situation of the fortress, who 
had never been in action, and who were incompletely furnished 
with the necessary weapons ? Fortunately for New England, 
success did not depend on the preconcerted plan of the gov- 
ernor. The intended " surprisal " was frustrated by the arrival 
of the vessels in the daytime, and their only alternative was a Apr. 30. 
regular siege. 

1 Prince's Thanks. Ser. 15 ; Chaun- 2 Belknap's N. H. ii. 209, 210. 
cy's Sermon, 15, 16 j Eliot's Sermon, Comp. 1 M. H. Coll. i. 5-11. 
12 j Douglas. 


chap. The place before which, the army was seated merits descrirr 
>- X^w tion. The town itself, about two miles and a quarter in cir- 
1745. cuinference, 1 was built upon a neck of land on the south side 
of a beautiful basin of water four hundred fathoms broad at 
its mouth, and was fortified in its accessible parts with a ram- 
part from thirty to thirty-six feet high, and a ditch eighty feet 
wide. A space of two hundred yards without the rampart, 
seaward, which was inaccessible to ships, was enclosed by a 
dike and a line of pickets ; and the spot was secured from 
attack by the side fire from the bastions. These bastions, six 
in number, with the three batteries, contained embrasures for 
one hundred and forty-eight cannon, of which sixty-five were 
mounted, and sixteen mortars. On Goat Island, at the en- 
trance of the harbor, was a battery of thirty cannon, carrying 
twenty-eight pound shot; and at the bottom of the harbor, 
opposite the entrance, was the grand or royal battery, of twen- 
ty-eight forty-two pounders, and two eighteen pounders. On 
a high cliff, opposite the island battery, stood a lighthouse, vis- 
ible in a clear night five leagues off at sea ; and within this 
point, at the north-east part of the harbor, were a careening 
wharf, completely landlocked and secure from all winds, and 
a magazine of stores. 2 The town was regularly laid out in 
squares. The streets were broad ; and the houses, partly of 
wood and partly of stone, corresponded with the general ap- 
pearance of the place. On the west side, near the rampart, 
and in the centre of one of the chief bastions, stood the citadel, 
which was spacious, with a parade near by, and a moat on one 
side towards the town ; and within this building were the 
apartments of the governor, the arsenal, and bomb-proof bar- 
racks for the soldiers. Under the rampart were casemates, to 
receive the women and children during a siege. The entrance 

1 Some authorities say two miles Boston, draughted by his grandfather, 
and a half. who was a gunner in the expedition 

2 There are curious plans of the against Louisburg during the French 
forts at Canseau and Louisburg in the war. 

possession of Mr. George Folnngs, of 


to the town on the land side was at the west gate, over a chap. 
drawbridge, near which was a circular battery mounting six- J^^ 
teen twenty-four pounders. Three gates in the north-west 1745. 
walls overlooked the harbor, and had bridges extending to the 
water, from which goods might at any time be shipped or 
unshipped. The whole works had been upwards of twenty-five 
years in building, and, though unfinished, had cost the French 
government more than thirty millions of livres — upwards of 
five millions of dollars of the currency of the United States. 1 
The Island of Cape Breton, lying between the forty-fifth 
and forty-seventh degrees of north latitude, although consid- 
ered by the English and the French as of the greatest impor- 
tance, was chiefly so from its central position and the conven- 
ience of its ports. The soil, rocky and mountainous, or cold 
and boggy, was not remarkable for its fertility. The only val- 
uable productions, besides timber, were pit coal and plaster. 
The atmosphere was laden with fogs in the spring, and the 
harbors were blocked with ice in the winter. The shores, on 
the north and west sides, were steep and inaccessible. On the 
south side were beautiful bays and excellent harbors, capable 
of receiving and securing ships of any burden. Lying between 
Canada on the one side and the West Indies on the other, 
commanding the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the 
highway to New England, a retreat for cruisers, a depot for 
privateers, and the rendezvous for all ships destined to France 
from the American seas, its commercial position was favorable 
to the French, and it was valuable as a fishing station, though 
less so, perhaps, than several parts of Nova Scotia and New- 
foundland. 2 Such was the island whose possession was to be 

1 Theatre of the Present War, 2- 113; 1 M. H. Coll. v. 202; Mar- 

5 ; Beginning, Progress, &c., of Last shall's Washington, i. 346. 

War, Lond. 1770, 4to, p. 12; Mems. 2 Mems. Last War, pp. 10, 19, ed. 

Last War, 13-16; Am. Mag. ii. 216; 1758; Importance of Cape Breton, 

Hutchinson, ii. ; Belknap's N. H. ii. chaps. 3, 4 ; Theatre of the Present 

193-196; Haliburton's N. S. i. 112, War, 6-10; Belknap's N. H. ii. 191 

•193 ; Minot, L 76. 

VOL. II. 10 


chap, contested with the French ; and such was the fortress which 

^^^ had oeen built for its security. 

1745. It was fortunate for the success of the expedition of Gov- 
ernor Shirley that the garrison at Louisburg was discontented 
and mutinous ; that no succors had arrived from France ; and 
that the provisions and stores of the fortress were greatly 
reduced. 1 The plan of operation, " drawn by a lawyer, to be 
executed by a merchant, at the head of a body of husbandmen 
and mechanics, destitute of professional skill and experience," 2 

Apr. 30. as we have seen, was frustrated, and the place was invested for 
ay * a siege. The landing of the troops was effected without much 
opposition, and they flew " to shore like eagles to the quarry." 
The same day, Colonel Vaughan, of New Hampshire, headed 
a detachment of four hundred men, chiefly from that province, 
and, passing the town, which he saluted with three cheers, 
marched to the north-east part of the harbor, burned the ware- 
houses containing the naval stores, and destroyed a quantity 
of spirituous liquors. The smoke of this fire, driven by the 
wind into the grand battery, so terrified the French, that they 
precipitately abandoned the place, after spiking the guns and 
throwing their powder into a well. 3 

May 2. The next morning Colonel Yaughan took possession of this 
battery, and sent for a reenforcement and a flag ; but before 
either arrived, an adventurous soldier climbed the staff, with a 
red coat in his teeth, and fastened it by a nail to the top. A 
detachment under Colonel Bradstreet was sent to the assist- 
ance of Colonel Vaughan ; but the French, in great alarm, 
hastily despatched a hundred men in boats to impede his 
march ; whereupon Colonel Waldo's regiment was ordered to 

1 Pepperrell's Letters, in 1 M. H. 3 Pepperrell MSS. ; Shirley's Lett. 
Coll. i. 11-17; Belknap's N. H. ii. p. 7 ; PepperrelTs Lett. i. 1 M. H. 
207. Duvivier went to France for Coll. i. 27 ; Journal of the Siege of 
supplies in the fall of 1744, but at Louisburg, 20-22 ; Mems. Last War, 
this time had not returned. 44, 45 ; Importance of Cape Breton, 

2 Belknap's N. H. ii. 214. 130 ; Hutchinson, ii. 373. 


assist him, and they were repulsed. 1 In vain did the French chap. 
open a heavy fire on the battery to prevent its being occupied by ^^L, 
the English. By night six companies were lodged there ; and 1745. 
that of which Seth Pomeroy, of Northampton, a gunsmith by 
trade, was major, was immediately employed to drill the cannon 
which the enemy had spiked. Before the twelfth of the month May 12. 
about twenty were cleared, a portion of which were turned 
upon the town with such success that nearly every shot told 
with effect, and several pierced the roof of the citadel. The 
behavior of the New Hampshire troops, and indeed of all the 
provincials, was admirable ; and for fourteen nights in succes- 
sion they were employed in drawing cannon from the landing 
to the camp on sleds — the men, with straps on their shoulders, 
and sinking to their knees in mud, working like oxen. 2 The 
landing and transporting the artillery and stores was a difficult 
task, owing to the badness of the ground and the strength of 
the surf. But what will not perseverance accomplish ? Mortars 
and cohorns were dragged through bogs and morasses up the 
steep hills, and planted in commanding positions, and fascine May 11 
batteries were erected near the west gate. 3 

In the mean time councils of war were convened, at which May 7. 
Commodore Warren was present ; and a summons to surrender 
was sent to Duchambon. This was refused ; upon which it was 
determined to proceed in the most vigorous manner to attack 
the island battery, and Commodore Warren offered to send a 
number of his sailors and marines to aid in the assault. 4 While 
awaiting a favorable opportunity for this movement, despatches May 11. 
were sent to Governor Shirley by Pepperrell for a reenforce- 

1 Am. Mag. ii. 223 ; Prince, Thanks. Cape Breton, 124, 125 ; Am. Mag. ii. 
Ser. 28 ; Belknap's N. H. ii. 2 16, 2 17 ; 224. 

PaWs Life of Pepperrell, 65. tt 0f all exploitSj since first T fellowed arms> 

2 bhirley S Lett. 8 ; (jrlDSOn S J Our- Ne'er heard I of a warlike enterprise 
nal, 42-46; Chauncy's Sermon, 16; More venturous, or desperate, than this." 

Belknap's N. H. ^^ffi^t 

3 Shirley's Letter, 9 ; Pepperrell's 

Lett. 1 M. H. CoU. i. 27 ; Journal of 4 Journal of the Siege, 24 ; 1 M. 

the Siege, 20-22, 25 ; Importance of H. ColL L 27 ; Am. Mag. ii 224. 


chap, ment of a thousand men, and for additional military stores. 

^J^_ Before these arrived, the Yigilant, a French ship of sixty-four 

1745. guns, was captured by the squadron under Commodore Warren 

May 19. 

' and the provincial sloops ; and, her crew being made prisoners, 
she was manned with English seamen. This success was 
encouraging, as it prevented additional supplies from reaching 
the fortress. 1 

Yet the condition of the besiegers was far from flattering. 
Nearly fifteen hundred of the troops lay sick at one time ; the 
army was imperfectly provided with tents ; their " lodgings 
were turf and brush houses ; " and their provisions and ammu- 
May 24. nition were rapidly failing. 2 In this posture of affairs, another 
consultation was held on board the Superb ; and, for the more 
speedy reduction of the fortress, it was proposed by Commo- 
dore Warren that sixteen hundred men should be embarked, 
and that all his majesty's ships, and the provincial cruisers 
except two, with the captured ship Vigilant, and the schooners 
and transports, should enter the harbor, and attack the town 
and batteries with " the utmost vigor," while the marines, under 
Captain James M'Donald, were to be landed, and, sustained by 
the rest of the troops, were to make an attack on shore ; 3 but 
this plan was not approved by General Pepperrell. From the 
tenor of the correspondence between Warren and Pepperrell, it 
is evident that both gentlemen coveted the honor of leading 
the expedition ; and Commodore Warren was quite as anxious 
that its success, if effected, should be attributed to his squadron, 
as General Pepperrell was anxious that it should be achieved 
by his troops. 4 

1 Journal of the Siege, 27 ; 1 M. seems to have prevailed most in the 
H. Col. i. 43 ; Proclamations of Gov- month of June ; and it was at that 
emor Shirley issued June 1 and June date that the 1500 were invalid. Par- 
4; Gibson's Journal, 51, 52; Am. sons, Life of Pepperrell, 85. 

Mag. ii. 223 ; Parsons, Life of Pep- 3 1 M. H. Coll. i. 52, 53. 

perrell, 67, 68, 72. 4 1 M. H. Coll. i. 32 ; Haliburton's 

2 Shirley's Lett. 8 ; Journal of the N. S. i. 115, note. That part of the 
Siege, 23 ; 1 M. H. Coll. i. 32-35 ; correspondence of Pepperrell, pre- 
Importance of Cape Breton, 126 ; served by Parsons, in which he uni- 
Belknap's N. H. ii. 219. Sickness formly speaks in high praise of War- 


In the mean time Pepperrell had not been " idle," as Warren chap. 
insinuates ; for, during the twenty-nine days the siege had con- ^J^w 
tinued, five fascine batteries had been erected, from which and 1745. 
from the grand battery considerable breaches had been made ay 
in the walls ; the west gate was entirely beaten down ; the 
adjoining wall was very much battered, and a breach was made May 29 

\ to 

in it about ten feet from the ground. The circular battery, of June 6. 
sixteen twenty-four pounders, was likewise nearly ruined, and 
all the cannon but three dismounted. The north-east battery, 
consisting of two lines of forty-two and thirty-two pounders, in 
all seventeen cannon, was damaged, and the men beaten off 
from their guns. The west flank of the King's Bastion, belong- 
ing to the citadel, and the battery of six twenty-four pounders, 
which pointed to the land side, were almost demolished ; and 
two cavaliers, of two twenty-four pounders each, raised during 
the siege, and two other cannon of the same weight of metal, 
run out at embrasures cut through the parapet near the west 
gate, were damaged and silenced. The citadel itself was also 
damaged ; several houses in the city were entirely demolished, 
and almost every one more or less injured. The Maurepas 
gate, at the east part of the city, was shattered ; and, as cross 
fires from the cannon and mortars, and even from the mus- 
ketry, ranged through the houses and streets in every part of 
the city, and through the enemy's parades, by which many were 
killed, the inhabitants were driven to the casemates, where they May 1 
were obliged to take refuge for several weeks. Nor was this 
all ; for, during the same period, five unsuccessful attempts were 

ren, is certainly in favor of his con- less notice might be taken of their 

duct in the enterprise, and proves him valor than they rightfully deserved. 

to have been actuated by a patriotism Governor Shirley seems to have anti- 

as fervent as it was disinterested and cipated these difficulties, as appears 

pure. He knew what belonged to his from one of his letters written at the 

office, and maintained his rights with time. See 1 M. H. Coll. i. 17. It 

dignity ; and he was jealous of the in- was through the mismanagement of 

tentions of Warren more for his coun- Shirley that these difficulties arose, 

try's sake than for his own — fearing See his letter to Warren, 1 M. K, 

that the services of the New England Coll. i. 36. 
troops might be depreciated* and that 


chap, made upon the island battery, the " palladium of Louisburg," 
YI - in the last of which one hundred and eighty-nine out of four 
1745. hundred men were killed or taken prisoners. Scouts had also 
ay ' been kept out to destroy the settlements of the enemy, and to 
prevent a surprise of the camp. 1 These were certainly bril- 
liant exploits for men who "laughed at zigzags and epaule- 
ments," and who conducted their movements "in a random 
manner ; " and if Commodore Warren was able to boast of his 
superior knowledge in the science of war, General Pepperrell 
had no reason to be ashamed of the conduct of his troops. 2 

June l. At length Pepperrell consented that six hundred men should 
be sent on board the Vigilant, and five hundred on board the 
other ships, with the understanding that Colonel M'Donald, 

Jun. n. with his marines, was to assist on shore ; and shortly after, 
under the direction of Gridley, of Boston, a battery was com- 
pleted near the lighthouse, containing three embrasures facing 
the island battery and six facing the sea. 3 The want of am- 
munition had been seriously felt, that which was used on shore 
being borrowed from the squadron ; but before this battery 

June 3. was finished welcome supplies arrived from Massachusetts. 4 
Thus reenforced, the operations of the besiegers were prose- 
cuted with increased vigor. 

One great obstacle to the success of the English arose from 
the want of exact information of the condition of the fortress ; 
and Commodore Warren, deeming it "of the utmost conse- 
quence to know the situation of the enemy, as to their numbers 

1 Shirley's Letter to the Duke of at 60 killed, and 112 prisoners. I 

Newcastle, ed. 1746, pp. 9-11 ; Jour- follow Pepperrell's statement in his 

nal of the Siege, 25-28 ; Mems. Last letter to Warren. 

War, 45-47 ; Gibson's Journal, 56- 2 1 M. H. Coll. i. 35, 36. 

60; 1 M. H. Coll. i. 35; Parsons's 3 Shirley's Lett. 11; Journal of the 

Life of Pepperrell, 82. Part of the Siege, 28, 29 ; Gibson's Journal, 62, 

damage referred to in the text was not 67; Hutchinson, ii. 376; 1 M. H. 

done until the 6th of June, especially Coll. i. 38 ; Parsons, Life of Pepper- 

the silencing of the cannon from the reli, 83, 84. 

parapets. The number of men lost in 4 1 M. H. Coll. i. 38, 40 ; Parsons, 

the attack on the island battery of Life of Pepperrell, 85. 
May 26 is set down in some accounts 


and quantity of ammunition and provisions," offered personally chap 
a reward of from five hundred to a thousand guineas to who- ^^ 
ever would furnish such information. As one step towards 1745. 
.securing it, he suggested sending to the French governor 
tidings of the capture of the Vigilant ; and, as Pepperrell 
approved the plan, a letter written by the former captain of 
the Vigilant was forwarded by a flag. The charge of this 
letter was confided to Colonel M'Donald, and, by pretending June 7. 
ignorance of the French language, he was enabled to listen, 
without being suspected, to the discourse of the officers before 
whom he was carried, and to observe the effect of his commu- 
nication upon them. 1 

During the absence of this messenger, a fresh consultation was June 7. 
held by Commodore Warren on board the Superb, to consider 
the expediency of attempting to enter the harbor and attack the 
town before the reduction of the island battery ; but, after an 
examination of the pilots, an inspection of the draughts of the 
harbor, and a careful review of the position in which the 
squadron would be placed with the battery in its rear, it was 
decided to be impracticable. Nothing remained, therefore, but 
to determine whether a new attempt should be made upon the 
island battery or not ; and it was resolved to make the attempt 
with the aid of the forces furnished by General Pepperrell. 2 
The decision of this council was forwarded to Pepperrell ; but, 
as he was convinced that no good could result from sending a 
few whale boats to the attack, which even musket balls would 
sink, he declined seconding the proposal. A general attack by 
land and sea was then concerted ; and Commodore Warren, 
being strengthened by the arrival of three or four more ships, June 19 
was to enter the harbor with his vessels, while General Pep- Jun. li 
perrell was to open his batteries upon the town ; but before 
making this attack, as other French vessels had been captured, 

1 1 M. H. Coll. i. 41-43 ; Gibson's H. Coll. i. 41; Parsons, Life of Pep- 
Journal, 65. perrell, 90, 91. 

2 Prince, Thanks. Ser. 30 ; 1 M. 


chap, which were expected to relieve the fortress, and as the battery 

, - J^ w near the lighthouse commanded the island battery, upon which 
1745. great reliance had been placed, Duchambon, satisfied that it 

Jun. 15. was useless to contend longer, sent hostages to both Warren 
and Pepperrell, with letters, proposing to surrender the fortress 
on condition that the troops, some sixteen hundred in number, 
should be permitted to retain their arms and colors. This 

Jun. 16. proposition was accepted ; the fortress was surrendered ; and 

" Bright Hesperus, the harbinger of day, < 

Smiled gently down on Shirley's prosperous sway. 
The prince of light rode in his burning car, 
To see the overtures of peace and war, 
Around the world ; and bade his charioteer, 
Who marks the periods of each month and year, 
Rein in his steeds, and rest upon high noon, 
To view our victory at Cape Breton." * 

Jun. 17. On the following day the victors entered the city ; and great 
was their surprise at beholding the strength of the fortress, 
and its capacity for resistance had it been suitably garrisoned. 
As chief of the expedition, a large share of the credit of its 
success rightfully belonged to Pepperrell ; but he was more 
ready to yield the honors of the occasion to Commodore War- 
ren than was Warren to acknowledge the value of his services. 
Indeed, such seems to have been the jealousy of Warren, and 
such were his fears lest too much credit should be given to 
Pepperrell, that, in his personal despatches to England, and by 
his representations after his arrival, he challenged to himself 
the chief honor of the expedition, and succeeded for a time in 

1 Journal of the Siege, 29-31 ; isburg. There are several volumes of 
Mems. Last War, 49, 50 ; Gibson's MSS. in the Lib. of the Mass. Hist. 
Journal, 71-74 ; 1 M. H. Coll. i. 43- Soc. comprising the papers of Sir Wil- 
46; Hutchinson, ii. 376, 377; Hah- liam Pepperrell, his journals of this ex- 
burton's N. S. i. 119. The rude lines pedition, muster rolls, &c, from which 
in the text are taken from a piece in- an elaborate narrative might be framed, 
serted in Ames's Almanac for 1746, These papers are in a good state of 
commemorating the reduction of Lou- preservation, and are quite interesting. 


throwing into the shade one who, if his rival, had more mag- chap. 
nanimity than to descend to such misrepresentations, and who YL 
generously acknowledged the merits of his associate. 1 1745. 

• The capture of Louisburg " filled Europe with astonishment 
and America with joy." In London, the cannon of the Tower 
and Park were fired by order of the lords of the regency ; at 
night there were great rejoicings, with bonfires and illumina- 
tions in the city and its suburbs • and a general gladness was 
diffused throughout the kingdom. Indeed, this was the capital 
achievement of the war. The prowess of the provincials could 
no longer be doubted, and veterans applauded the courage they 
had despised. 2 Yolumes of congratulatory letters poured in. 
upon Pepperrell from towns, corporations, and distinguished 
citizens, applauding his success. And when the news reached 
Boston, two weeks after the surrender, and in New York and July 2 
Philadelphia, unbounded enthusiasm prevailed. Bells rang out 
their noisiest peals ; cannon boomed ; bonfires blazed ; and at 
night every dwelling was brilliantly illuminated. 3 Two weeks 
later, a thanksgiving was celebrated in most of the New Eng- July 18 
land colonies, and patriotic sermons were preached by the 
ministers. 4 No event had for a long time created such an 
excitement. Many fortunate circumstances preceded and fol- 
lowed the enterprise. A bountiful harvest in the fall had filled 
the granaries of the English to overflowing ; while a drought, 
which prevailed in Canada, cut off the supplies of the French. 

1 Bollan's Lett, in 1 M. H. Coll. i. only such as often springs up on such 
53. 54 ; Lett, to the Earl of Sandwich, occasions ; and both gentlemen had 
in 1 M. H. Coll. i. 108-111; Chal- too much good sense to carry the mat- 
mers, Revolt, ii. 241 ; Parsons, Life ter so far as to make it the ground of 
of Pepperrell, 101, 102. The jeal- perpetual contention, 
ousy between Warren and Pepperrell 2 Gibson's Journal, 78-80 ; Am. 
does not seem to have been perma- Mag. ii. ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 69 ; Par- 
nent, nor did it affect the friendliness sons, Life of Pepperrell, 144, 145. 
of their intercourse. Indeed, the 3 Am. Mag. ii 323 ; Parsons, Life 
two officers continued to regard each of Pepperrell, 108, 109. 
other with esteem through life ; and 4 A number of these were pub- 
their correspondence indicates that lished, among which that of Prince is 
the rivalry which was called forth dur- valuable for the information it con- 
ing the excitement of the siege was tains. 


chap. Favorable weather facilitated the outfit of the troops ; and a 
^J^^ concurrence of incidents brought together from all parts the 
1745. vessels of war cruising on the coast. During the siege the 
weather was unusually pleasant ; but the day after the fortress 
surrendered a storm set in, and the rain fell in torrents for the 
next ten days. 1 Is it surprising that the French thought "the 
Virgin Mary was peculiarly kind to the English " ? 2 or that 
the English themselves exclaimed, " The Lord hath done great 
things for us, whereof we are glad " ? 3 Religious enthusiasm 
had stimulated many to enlist in the war ; and, in the fervor 
of their piety, their success, if not miraculous, was esteemed 
providential. For a fortress so strong as, in the estimation of 
good.judges, to require thirty thousand men for its capture, to 
have been taken by about four thousand undisciplined troops, 
most of whom had never before served in a similar enterprise, 
was certainly something to awaken astonishment ; and one 
who was present, and who served with the French, observed 
that, " in all the histories he had read, he never met with an 
instance of so bold and presumptuous an attempt." 4 

The government of the island, upon the surrender of the 
fortress, after some controversy was jointly assumed by Warren 
and Pepperrell ; and for his services in the expedition Warren 
was created vice admiral of the white, and the honors of 
knighthood were conferred upon Pepperrell. 5 Governor Shir- 
Aug. ley, during the summer, visited Louisburg to inquire into the 
Dec. 8. condition of the army and fortress ; and at his return he was 
welcomed with the heartiest rejoicings. 6 The expense of the 

1 Prince, Chauncy, Eliot, &c. castle to Pepperrell, Aug. 10, 1745 ; 

2 Gibson's Journal, 78; Hutchin- Marshall's Washington, i. 358; Par- 
son, ii. 377. sons, Life of Pepperrell, 109, 125. The 

3 Prince's Ser. 33. "I scarce know latter, pp. 112-116, gives an account 
of a conquest," says Chauncy, Ser. of the difficulties which occurred on 
12, " since the days of Joshua and the this occasion, with extracts from the 
Judges, wherein the finger of God is correspondence on the subject. War- 
more visible." ren was created baronet in 1747. Ibid, 

4 Gibson's Journal, 78, 79. Comp. 165. 

Chauncy's Sermon, 18, 19. 6 Mems. Last War, 52-60. Pep- 

6 MS. Lett, of the Duke of New- perrell and Warren visited Boston in 


expedition amounted to two hundred and sixty-one thousand chap. 
seven hundred pounds of the currency of the province, or one v __ v ^ w 
hundred and eighty-three thousand six hundred and forty-nine 1745. 
pounds sterling ; and this sum, after a vexatious delay, was 
reimbursed through the intervention of Mr. Bollan, the son- 
in-law of Shirley and the agent of the province. The money 
thus received enabled Massachusetts to redeem a large portion 1749. 

Sep. 18. 

of her outstanding bills ; the condition of the currency was 

temporarily improved ; and the commercial activity of the 

people was increased. 1 

The reduction of Louisburg was the signal for extensive 

plans for the conquest of Canada. Both Shirley and Warren 

were at the bottom of this movement ; 2 the Duke of Bedford 

was deeply interested in its success ; and at their solicitation 1745. 
1 J ' Oct. 

a circular letter was addressed by the Duke of Newcastle, then 

secretary of state, to all the governors of the American colo- 1746. 

Apr. 19 

nies as far south as Virginia, requiring them to raise men, and 
form them into companies, to be ready to unite and act accord- 
ing to future orders. Eight battalions were to be raised in 
England, under Lieutenant General St. Clair, with a squadron 
commanded by Rear Admiral Warren; and these, with the New 
England troops, were to rendezvous at Louisburg, and from 
thence proceed to Quebec. The troops from the southern col- 
onies were to rendezvous at Albany, and from thence proceed 
to Montreal. 3 

June, 1746 ; and on this memorable ' Trumbull MSS. vol. i. fols. 2, 17; 

occasion they were received at Long Observations on Present Circum- 

Wharf by his majesty's Council and stances of Prov. of Mass. Bay, ed. 

the House of Representatives, and es- 1750, p. 6; Hutchinson, ii. ; Bancroft, 

corted by his excellency's company of iv. 50, 51. 

cadets to the council chamber, being 2 Mems. Last War, 60, 61 ; 1 M. 
saluted, as they passed through the H. Coll. vii. 70 ; Hutchinson, ii. 380,' 
streets, by the hurrahs of the people, 381; Belknap's N. H. ii. 225-227,- 
who crowded the doors, windows, and Marshall's "Washington, ii. 360 ; Par- 
balconies. Every one testified joy at sons, Life of Pepperrell, 129. 
their arrival ; and the congratulations 3 Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 242-244 ; 
of the legislature of the province were Marshall's Washington, i. 360 ; Par- 
cordially tendered them. Mass. Rec's ; sons, Life of Pepperrell, 148. The 
Parsons, Life of Pepperrell, 140-143. Duke of Bedford, the first lord of the 


In accordance with these plans, as the design was pleasing 
to the people, the measures of the ministry were cordially 

1745. approved, and the colonies furnished with alacrity their quotas. 1 
But the French, in the mean time, were not inactive ; and an 

May. armament was fitted out from Brest and the West Indies, 
which, in conjunction with a body of land forces to be raised 
in Canada, was destined for the conquest of Nova Scotia, and 
the destruction of the settlements from thence to Georgia. 
This fleet, the most powerful hitherto sent to these shores, was 
under the command of the Duke D'Anville, an officer of 
experience and approved ability, and consisted . of seventy sail, 
of which eleven were ships of the line, twenty frigates, five 
ships and bombs, and the rest transports and tenders, having 
on board upwards of three thousand disciplined troops. 2 The 
energy of the French in making these preparations did not 
prevent the levy of more than eight thousand men from the 
colonies for the conquest of Canada ; but, as the fleet from 
England had not arrived, and the season was so far advanced 
that, if it should arrive, it would be too late to attempt the 
navigation of the St. Lawrence, it was judged prudent to defer 
the attack on Quebec, and to turn the attention of the army to 
the reduction of Crown Point. 3 
Sep. 12. At this juncture intelligence was received of the danger 
which threatened the eastern provinces, from the inroads of 

Aug. the French and Indians at Minas, and the expected revolt of 
Sep. 20. the Acadians ; and shortly after, by additional letters, the 
whole country was alarmed by reports of the arrival of the 
fleet from France. In this emergency, the preparations of 
Massachusetts were promptly made. Several hundred men 
had been sent to Annapolis to act there ; and, as Castle Wil- 

admiralty, and afterwards secretary of 1 Mass. Rec's ; Parsons, Life of 

state, is said to have favored this pro- Pepperrell, 149. 

ject ; and, according to Pitt, the " great 2 Marshall's Washington, i. 362; 

and practicable views for America" Parsons, Life of Pepperrell, 146, 147. 

sprang from him alone. Bancroft, iv. 3 Mems. Last War, 62-64 j Bel- 

21. knap's N. H. ii. 229. 


Ham had been recently refitted, a large body of troops was chap 
ordered thither, and nearly ten thousand persons offered their VL 
services to aid in defending Boston. But the operations of 1746. 
the French were signally thwarted ; for, crippled by tempest 
and shipwreck, the gallant fleet, which had set forth sanguine May. 
of success, was so shattered after its arrival on the coast as to Sept. 
be unable to proceed ; and the death of the Duke D'Anville, 
and the suicide of his successor, led to the return of the sur- 
viving vessels, and the abandonment of the design upon which Nov. 
they had been sent. 1 

Thus ended the " expedition of the most formidable arma- 
ment ever fitted out against the coast of North America " — 
an armament " computed to consist of near half the naval force 
of France." To complete the series of catastrophes and disas- 
ters, some of the vessels were lost, and others were taken, on 
the voyage home ; and, by an infection among the seamen, a 
disease was communicated to the Cape Sable Indians, in the 
interest of the French, by which nearly two thirds of them 
miserably perished. 2 

In the mean time the arrangements for the contemplated 
attack upon Crown Point had been continued, and prepara- 
tions had proceeded so far that bateaux were provided for the 
transportation of the troops and stores across Lake Champlain ; 
ordnance stores and provisions were sent from Boston, and a 
train of artillery from New York to the fort at Saratoga ; and 
fifteen hundred of the Massachusetts troops set out for Albany Oct. 
to join the troops from the southern governments ; but the 
general alarm occasioned by the appearance of the French 
armament suspended the prosecution of the attempt until the 
season was so far advanced that a portion of the colonies 
judged it too late to proceed, and refused to join with Massa- 
chusetts in the execution of the project. Yet Governor Shir- 

1 Mems. Last "War, 64-67. Par- Jonquiere, as the successor of the 
sons, Life of Pepperrell, 147, gives the Duke D'Anville. 
name of D'Estournelle, instead of La 2 Mems. Last War, 68* 


chap, ley, unwilling to abandon the enterprise, renewed the attempt 
s _J^ w "k° can T it i 11 ^ effect, and induced the legislature to favor his 

1746. plans. The governor of New York, equally eager for war, 
was likewise inclined to aid in the expedition. But, by the 
prudence of the members of the Connecticut assembly, who 
deemed the winter an improper season for so great an under- 
taking, the rash scheme was defeated, and further thoughts of 
exterminating the French were reluctantly abandoned. The 
troops from New England remained under pay until the follow- 

1747. ing fall, when, by order of the ministry, they were disbanded ; 
* the governors drew bills on the British treasury for their sup- 
port ; and Parliament granted the money to reimburse the 
charges of their equipment and subsistence. 1 

1748. The peace of Aix la Chapelle, concluded in 1748, caused 
a temporary suspension of hostilities between England and 
France. By the terms of this peace, New England had the 
mortification to find the fruits of her toil, in the conquest of 
Louisburg, wrested from her grasp ; for, under the compromise 
for restoring the French conquests in the Low Countries to 
the Queen of Hungary and the States G-eneral, and for a gen- 
eral restitution of places captured from the other belligerent 
powers, the Island of Cape Breton was delivered back to its 

1749. former possessors ; and Massachusetts was left to calculate at 
u y ' leisure the expenses of her warfare, and the benefits which had 

accrued to her from the loss of her citizens who had fallen a 
prey to the ravages of disease, and the damage to her com- 

1 Mems. Last War, 68-75; Hutch- Rhode Island received £12,338 Os* 

inson, ii. 386 ; Belknap's N. H. ii. 7|d. Trumbull MSS. in Mass. Hist 

234, 235 ; Minot, i. 80. The total Soc. vol. i. fol. 30. Letters relating 

expenses of the Canada expedition to to the share of Connecticut may also 

the colonies were £224,741 12s. 8fd. be seen in ibid. fols. 1, 3, 5, 18, 32. 

Of this sum Massachusetts received The Connecticut troops were permit- 

£87,434 18s. 7d. ; Connecticut re- ted to go home on furlough October 

ceived £17,191 15s. 8£d. ; N. Hamp- 31, 1746; but half pay was demanded 

shire received £21,446 10s. 10£d. ; from that date to October 31, 1747, 

New York received £84,098 18s. 6d. ; when the troops of the colonies were 

New Jersey received £2,231 18s. ordered to be dismissed. Ibid. fols. 

4£d. ; and Pennsylvania, Virginia, and 18, 30. 


merce from the interruption to her trade. English policy, chap. 
however, at this time, was little concerned with colonial pros- ^^ 
perity ; and the people of New England, on this as on other 1749. 
occasions, were made sensible that they were merely dependen- 
cies of the crown, and that their interests were to be sacrificed 
at the caprice of the dominant powers, however prejudicial that 
sacrifice might be. 1 

The conduct of the English government throughout the war 
with France did not, to the inhabitants of America, seem to 
justify the belief that it acted in good faith towards the colo- 
nies, or designed to render efficient aid in the conquest of 
Canada. Nor was the course pursued by the commanders of 
English vessels of war such as to inspire confidence in their 
integrity or good will. For, before the conclusion of the peace 
of Aix la Chapelle, a tumult occurred in Boston, equal to, if 1747. 
not more threatening than, any which had preceded it. A 
number of sailors having deserted from the squadron at Nan- 
tasket, Commodore Knowles, who had charge of the same, and 
who had been active at Louisburg, demanded a supply equal 
to those he had lost ; and, sending his boats to the town early 
in the morning, he seized the seamen of the vessels in port, 
and swept the wharves, impressing some ship carpenters' ap- 
prentices and laboring landsmen. 2 This high-handed outrage 
aroused the indignation of the people, and all united in con- 
demning it. The laboring class, especially, who were the 
greatest sufferers, were enraged beyond measure ; and, hastily 
arming with sticks and clubs, they gathered in crowds, clamor- 
ing for redress. A lieutenant was the first person seized ; but 
he was released on the assurance of Mr. Hutchinson, the 
speaker of the House, that he was guiltless, and was conducted 

1 Minot, i. 81 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. chase of the last general peace in Eu- 

69. " Of such consequence to the rope." 

French was the possession of that ini- 2 Impressment had long been prac- 

portant key to their American settle- tised in England, though not enforced 

ments," says the last authority, " that by law. Address to Inhabitants of 

•*ts restitution was, in reality, the pur- Mass. Bay, p. 5. 


chap, to a place of safety. Receiving intelligence that several of the 
^^^ commanders were at the house of the governor, the mob imme- 
1747. diately repaired thither. The house was surrounded, and the 
adjacent court filled ; but no act of violence was committed, 
until a deputy sheriff presumed to interfere, when he was 
seized and set in the stocks. Soldiers had been posted at the 
head of the stairway, with loaded carbines, to repel an assault ; 
and it was probably owing to this circumstance, and to the 
persuasions of the prudent, that no more decided measures 
were taken. 

By dusk several thousand people were assembled in King 
Street, below the town house, where the General Court was 
sitting, and stones and bricks were thrown into the council 
chamber • but the governor ventured into the balcony with 
several of his friends, and, in a well-timed speech, expressed his 
disapproval of the conduct of the commodore, and promised 
his utmost endeavors for the discharge of those who had been 
taken. Other gentlemen likewise addressed the crowd ; but 
their speeches had no effect. Even Pepperrell, " with all his 
personal popularity, was equally unsuccessful in stilling the 
tumult." 1 The multitude clamored for the arrest of those 
who had committed the outrage, and insisted upon this as the 
only security for the release of the prisoners. 

As conciliatory measures were fruitless, it was deemed expe- 
dient for the governor to withdraw to his own residence. But 
this did not allay the excitement ; and, shortly after, a report 
being raised that a barge from the ships had touched at one 
of the wharves, the mob flew to the spot, but took, by mistake, 
a boat belonging to a Scotch ship, which they drew in triumph 
through the streets to the governor's house, and prepared to 
burn it. A consideration of the danger of this proceeding, 
however, prevented the execution of the design, and the boat 
was taken to a safer place and burned. 

1 Parsons, Life of Pepperrell, 172. 


The next day, the military companies of the neighborhood chap. 
were ordered to be mustered under arms, and a watch was ^J^ 
appointed to be kept the succeeding night. The governor, by 1747. 
this time, was alarmed for his own safety ; and, leaving the 
town privately, he withdrew to the Castle, notwithstanding the 
assurance of a number of gentlemen that they would stand by 
him in the maintenance of his authority and the restoration of 
order. On reaching the Castle, a despatch was sent to Com- 
modore Knowles, representing the confusion occasioned by the 
misconduct of his officers ; but he refused all terms of accom- 
modation until the officers on shore were released, and threat- 
ened to bombard the town in case they were not liberated. 

For three days the General Court continued in session with- Nov. 17 
out directly interfering in the affair ; but towards noon of the 
latter day, some of the members of the House reflecting upon Nov. 19. 
the serious consequences which might result from leaving the 
governor unsupported, a series of resolutions was presented 
and adopted, expressing a determination to " stand by and sup- 
port, with their lives and estates, his excellency the governor 
and the executive part of the government, and to exert them- 
selves, by all ways and means possible, in redressing such 
grievances as his majesty's subjects have been and are under." 

With the passage of these resolves the excitement abated ; 
and, at a town meeting held in the afternoon, the " tumultuous 
and riotous acts of such as had insulted the governor and the 
other branches of the legislature" were condemned, though 
deep regret was expressed at the "great injury and insult 
caused by the misconduct of the naval officers." The governor, 
not knowing what course the affair might take, had in the 
mean time issued his orders to the colonels of the regiments of 
Cambridge, Roxbury, and Milton, and the regiment of horse, 
to be ready to march at an hour's warning to such rendezvous 
as he should direct ; but the next day he was agreeably sur- Nov.20. 
prised at the appearance of the militia of Boston, accompanied 
by many who had never before borne a musket, who assured 

VOL. II. 11 


chap, him of protection, and conducted him to his residence with 
^J^^ great parade. The commodore, upon this, liberated most of 
1747. those who had been impressed ; and the squadron took its de- 
parture, to the infinite joy and relief of the people. 1 
1749. Another measure, adopted in England soon after the peace 
of Aix la Chapelle, was not particularly acceptable to the peo- 
ple of New England. This was the revival of the project of 
Archbishop Seeker for sending episcopal bishops to America, 
which was favored by Sherlock, the new Bishop of London, 
by Bedford, the secretary of state, and Joy Halifax, the presi- 
dent of the Board of Trade. The political reason assigned for 
this step was, that several nonjuring clergymen, in the interest 
of the Pretender, had emigrated to the colonies, whose influ- 
ence it was necessary to counteract and destroy ; but the pro- 
ject was opposed by leading persons in the ministry, and was 
finally laid aside. The Society for Propagating the Gospel 
then took the matter up ; and, conceiving the chief obstruction 
to arise from the jealousy of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the 
colonies, they labored to remove this difficulty by declaring 
that no coercive power was intended to be exercised over the 
laity in any case ; that it was not designed the bishops should 
interfere with the dignity or authority of any of the civil 
officers ; that their maintenance was not to be charged to the 
people ; and that no bishops were to be settled in the colonies 
where the government was in the hands of dissenters. Hap- 
pily for Massachusetts, this project, though generally unpalata- 
ble, did not cause special alarm to her citizens ; and the cir- 
cumstances of the province were such that, if the attempt had 
been made to foster episcopacy contrary to the wishes of a 
majority of the laity, it would have been instantly resisted, and 
must have failed to succeed. Yet the fact that such a measure 
was devised, and enforced in the colonies less refractory than 
those of New England, proves that the arbitrariness of the 

?. Rec's ; Address to the In- Patriae ; Hutchinson, ii. 386, 390 
hab. of Mass. Bay, &c, by Amicus Chalmers, Revolt, ii 244-246. 


mother country was daily Increasing, and that the measures of chap. 
her statesmen aimed not to enfranchise her Cis- Atlantic sub- ^J 1 ^ 
jects, but to reduce them to a state of more complete vassalage. 1 1748. 

Yet, notwithstanding the mismanagement of England, the 
Province of Massachusetts continued to prosper, and the ener- 
gies of her people it was impossible to repress. Where the 
spirit of freedom inspires the soul, obstacles are easily sur- 
mounted, and success is insured. The advancement of the 
interests of Massachusetts, during the fifty-six years which 
had elapsed from its erection into a province, if not equal 1692 
in every respect to its advancement in the fifty years which 1748. 
followed the confederacy of 1643, was certainly as great as 1643 


could have been reasonably expected. The population, at 1692. 
this time, was estimated at two hundred thousand souls ; and 1748 
Boston, the metropolis of the province, contained not far 
from twenty thousand inhabitants. 2 Sixty-eight towns had 
been incorporated in the different counties, swelling the num- 
ber, in all, including those of the " old colony," to one hundred 
and forty — nearly double what it was at the grant of the 
charter of William and Mary. 3 The value of the imports 
from Great Britain to North America, for the ten years ending 
in 1748, amounted, in the aggregate, to about seven and a half 1738 
millions sterling, or seven hundred and fifty thousand pounds 1748, 

1 Gordon's Am. Rev. i. 85, 86; Needham, Chatham, Norton, Abing- 
Minot, i. 136-138. ton, Pembroke, Dighton, Lexington, 

2 Douglas says, by the valuation of Weston, Medway, Oxford, Chilmark, 
1742, there were reported 16,382 Leicester, Northfield, Sunderland, 
souls in Boston. Governor Shute, in Hopkinton, Littleton, Sutton, West- 
1723, estimated the population of borough, Bellingham, Rutland, Hol- 
Boston at 18,000. Chalmers, Revolt, listen, Walpole, Methuen, Stoneham, 
ii. 26. Governor Shirley, in one of Easton, Kingston, Stoughton, Hano- 
his letters to the Board of Trade, ver, Provincetown, Uxbridge, Shrews- 
speaks of Boston as a "town inhabit- bury, Southborough, Middleton, Lu- 
ed by 20,000 persons." Bancroft, iv. nenburg, Westford, Bedford, Wil- 
39. Burnaby, Travels, 133, says Bos- mington, Brimfield, Raynham, Town- 
ton contained from 18,000 to 20,000 send, Harvard, Dudley, Sheffield, 
inhabitants in 1759, and 3000 houses. Halifax, Tewksbury, Acton, Berkeley, 

3 The names of these towns, in the Grafton, Upton, Sturbridge, Waltham, 
order of their incorporation, were, Bolton, Hardwick, Wareham, Stock- 
Harwich, Attleborough, Framingham, bridge, Leominster, Blandford, Hol- 
Dracut, Brookline, Plympton, Truro, den, Warren, Pelham, Douglass. 


chap, per annum — upwards of three millions of dollars of the cur- 
^J^, rency of the United States. 1 This sum, indeed, is not much 
1748. larger than the value of the imports from 1715 to 1718; but 
it must not be hence inferred that the commerce of the country 
was decreasing. The statement simply indicates that the peo- 
ple were depending more upon their own resources, and that 
inter-colonial exchange was taking the place, in a measure, of 
the trade with foreign ports. This is evident, not only from 
the acts of Parliament restricting manufactures, but also from 
the statistics of that period, which show that the shipping of 
the colony had largely increased ; 2 that the trade with the 
"West Indies was much more extensive j and that more atten- 
tion was paid to those interests upon which, after all, every 
people must principally depend for support, and without which 
no nation can rapidly progress. 

The discipline through which the people had passed had 
been painful, and such as they would probably have gladly 
avoided, had it been in their power. But it was exactly the 
discipline adapted to their circumstances, and exactly the disci- 
pline which prepared them for the future. They had learned 
something of the feelings of Great Britain towards her colo- 
nies, and were able to comprehend better the policy of her 
statesmen. Wise men, even at this date, foresaw the impend- 
ing struggle, and predicted that a generation would not pass 
before it would commence. 3 The military training, which was 
to fit the citizens of New England for the battles of the revo- 
lution, had already been begun ; and in the next few years it 
was surprisingly advanced. Even the taking of Louisburg, 

1 Minot, i. 162 ; Hildreth, ii. Frank- same time," 40 topsail vessels, amount- 
lin, Works, iv. 37, makes the value of ing to about 7000 tons. Douglas, ii. 
the exports from England to the north- 18. Oldmixon states that, at the same 
ern colonies, from 1744 to 1748, in- date, "near 600 sail of ships" were la- 
elusive, £3,486,261, or about $15,- den in Boston "for Europe and the 
479,000 — an average of $3,000,000 British plantations." 

per annum. 3 Franklin's Works, and the Writ" 

2 In 1741, there were upon the ings of John Adams, &c. 
stocks in Boston, "at one and the 


notwithstanding its re-cession, had some influence on the desti- chap. 
nies of America ; and " the same old drums " that beat at the ^J^ 
capture of the fortress " rallied the troops in their march to 1748. 
Bunker's Hill ; and the same Colonel Gridley who planned 
PepperrelFs batteries marked and laid out the one where Gen- 
eral Warren fell ; and when Gage was erecting breastworks 
across Boston Neck, the provincial troops sneeringly remarked 
that his mud walls were nothing compared with the stone walls 
of old^Louisburg." x "By a way that ye know not I will lead 
ye," is ever God's course in his dealings with men. And it is 
well that our destinies are always in his hands ; for such is our 
ignorance, and such is our folly, that we often complain most 
of what eventually proves best for us, and have seldom the 
sagacity to perceive that temporary evils generally result in 
permanent good, and that the chastenings which we experience 
at his hands, while they are rebukes for our misconduct, are at 
the same time parts of the great scheme which accomplishes the 
advancement of the race — setting up one nation, and humbling 

1 Parsons's Life of Pepperrell, 144; Everett's Orations, 366, 368. 


THE FRENCH WAR. 1753-1756. 

The rivalry between England and France was destined to 
revolutionize the history of America. Both nations, for more 
than a century, had been struggling for the prize of supremacy 
on these shores ; but the superior energy of the English, and 
the habits of industry peculiar to the settlers of New England 
and the colonies to the south, had augmented their strength 
and increased their numbers far beyond those of the feeble set- 
tlements to the north. Hence, while the plantations on the 
seaboard contained upwards of a million of souls, the banks 
of the St. Lawrence and the valley of the Mississippi were 
peopled by less than a hundred thousand persons, who owned 
France as their native land, and who were jealous of the pros- 
perity and the advancement of their neighbors. 1 
1748. The peace of Aix la Chapelle was a truce rather than a 
league ; and the very vagueness of its terms was fruitful in 
scattering the seeds of discord. France, on the one hand, was 
reluctant to relinquish a foot of the territory which had been 
trod by her missionaries and subjected to her flag ; England, 
on the other, dreading the presence of France and the influence 
of the Jesuits upon the warlike Indians, was anxious to restrict 
the bounds of her jurisdiction, and looked forward to the time 
when she should be able to expel the French from all North 

1 Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 273, 274; terre une opulence dont il semble 

Marshall's Washington, i. 373 ; Ban- qu'on ne sait point profiter, et dans la 

croft, iv. 127, 128 ; Hildreth, ii. 447. Nouvelle France une pauvrete cachee 

Even Charlevoix could say, in 1721, par un air d'aisance." 

"II regne dans la Nouvelle Angle- 



America, supply the farthest wigwam from her workshops, and chap 
assume absolute sway from the Atlantic to the Pacific. France, JJ^L, 
without doubt, would have as readily driven the English from 1748. 
the continent, had it been in her power ; but such was her fee- 
bleness, and such was the paucity of her population in the new 
world, notwithstanding she had for as many years been mis- 
tress of parts of its territory, and claimed other parts by the 
right of discovery, it was hopeless to look for this result, and 
she could only exert herself to fortify the stations she already 
held, and prevent their being wrested from her by the prowess 
of her rival. Hence a chain of posts was proposed to be 
erected, connecting the St. Lawrence with the broad Missis- 
sippi. This policy she had long cherished ; this policy she now 
began seriously to enforce. 1 

Foreseeing the difficulties which must spring from this 
source, and the embarrassed position in which her own colo- 
nies would be placed, England, on her part, was equally zeal- 
ous to frustrate the plans of France ; and a company was 
formed, consisting chiefly of Yirginians, and settlements were 
projected on the banks of the Ohio, for the security of the 1749. 
territory watered by that stream, and to resist the continued 
aggressions of her rival. 2 Each nation was alive to the im- 
portance of accomplishing its purpose ; each was determined 
to exert itself to the utmost to fortify its possession of the 
country and secure its jurisdiction. 

By the terms of the treaty of Aix la Chapelle, the bounds Art.ix. 
of the two nations were to be as before the war. But for 
more than a quarter of a century these bounds had been in 
dispute. Hence their adjustment was a matter which required 
immediate attention ; and as Governor Shirley had returned 1749. 
to England to urge the necessity of erecting a fort near Crown 

1 Letters to Two Great Men, 13 ; Franklin's Works, iv. 336; Marshall's 

Burr's Discourse of Jan. 1, 1755, p. Washington, i. 375 ; Bancroft, iv. 41, 

17 ; Marshall's Washington, i. 375. 42. 

8 Archseol. Americana, ii. 535-541 ; 


chap. Point, which commanded Lake Champlain, and of settling and 

^^ fortifying a town in Nova Scotia, — leaving the government 

1750. during his absence in the hands of Spencer Phips, — about a 

ep ' year after his arrival, in connection with William Mildmay, he 

was appointed commissioner by the court of St. James to meet 

at Paris with La Gallisoniere and Silhouette for the adjustment 

of these bounds. 1 The English commissioners, however, soon 

found that there was very little hope of arriving at a friendly 

arrangement, for the more they advanced in their offers the 

more the French claimed ; futile and frivolous objections were 

started ; and, as collisions had taken place within the disputed 

territory, after nearly two years had been spent in disputation, 

and papers had accumulated sufficient to fill two thick quarto 

volumes of protocols, the conference ended ; Mr. Shirley re- 

1753. turned to England, and soon after to America, brineing with 

Aug. 6. . 

him, at the age of sixty, a new wife, the daughter of his land- 
lord in Paris, with whose charms he had been smitten, and 
whom he had privately married. 2 

In the mean time, the British government, to guard the com- 
merce and fisheries of New England, and to offset the disad- 
vantages of the restoration of Louisburg, conceived a plan, 
1749. approved by Cumberland, Pelham, and Fox, for the settlement 
of a town near the harbor of Chibucto, which was called Hal- 
ifax, in honor of the Earl of Halifax, the new president of the 
May. Board of Trade. Early in the spring, a fleet was sent under 
Edward Cornwallis, a brother of Lord Cornwallis, to corn- 
June, mence this settlement ; and at the opening of summer he 
arrived on the coast. 3 The whole country was at that time 
an unbroken wilderness, and the soil was covered' with a dense 

1 Summary View of Facts, &c, p. Soc. Coll. ; Mems. of the English and 
3 ; Pouchot's Introd. xxxvii ; Letter French Commissioners concerning the 
to Two Great Men, 16 j Bancroft, iv. Limits of Nova Scotia, &c, ed. 1755 ; 
73. Hutchinson, iii. 15 ; Chalmers, Revolt, 

2 Bollan's Letter of April 25, 1750, ii. 260 ; History of the War, 7. 

in MSS. Letters and Papers, 1721- 3 History of the War, 6; Halibur- 

1760, fols. 191, 192, in Mass. Hist, ton's N. S. i. 137 ; Bancroft, iv. 45. 


growth of evergreens, — the spruce, the fir, and the murmuring chap 
pine, — whose spiry tops pierced the clouds, and whose spread- ^^-L* 
ing limbs, bearded with moss which hung in thick festoons from 1750. 
the pendulous branches, shaded the ground in every direction, 
giving to the scenery an aspect of gloom to which the emi- 
grants, • removed from a cultivated district, where verdant 
lawns stretched far away, bordered with the graceful beech or 
the drooping elm, were wholly unaccustomed. Nature ap- 
peared to them in her wildest form ; and the sullen roar of the 
waves, as they dashed upon the rock-bound coast, was less 
sweet music to their ears than the chimes of the bells of their 
native village, or the cawing of the rooks that lodged in the 

Undaunted by the prospect before them, clearings were 
speedily made ; buildings were erected with materials brought 
from New England ; and before winter set in the people were 
comfortably settled ; a government was established ; and pro- 
visions were made for the employment of all, until the warmth 
of the spring permitted the renewal of their labors. Thus 
sprang into being the first town of English origin east of the 
Penobscot. 1 

The French were not idle while these movements were pro- 
gressing. Indeed, before the arrival of Cornwallis, they had 
taken possession of Chiegnecto, now Fort Lawrence, near Chi- 
bucto, and erected a fort ; and they claimed the River St. 
John, and all Acadia as far as Penobscot. Immediately the 
Acadians, who were of French descent, and who for forty years 
had acknowledged themselves subjects of England, declared 1710-50. 
their revolt, and their adherence to France ; upon which Corn- 
wallis wrote in pressing terms to Spencer Phips, to invoke aid 1749. 

Dec. 18. 

from Massachusetts ; but, though his honor recommended to 
the General Court the necessary measures to enable him to 
comply with this request, the court declined seconding his 

1 Haliburton's N. S. i. 136-142; Bancroft, iv. 44-46; Hildreth, ii. 435. 


chap, proposals, and the English commander was left to depend on 
m J^ his own resources. 1 
1750. The renown acquired by Governor Shirley in the capture 

June 9. 

of Louisburg awakened in his mind an earnest desire to gather 
fresh laurels on the same field of action ; and, as the failure 
of the commission for the adjustment of boundaries seemed 
ominous of a renewal of hostilities, he was by no means reluc- 
tant to hasten on a war which presented a prospect of for- 
warding his own interests. A gentleman of great political 
sagacity, and of indefatigable industry ; the eulogist of Cum- 
berland, of Bedford, and of Halifax j ardent, intriguing, and 
of a boundless ambition ; possessing a singular capacity for 
framing, if not for executing, stupendous designs ; cautious in 
his movements ; regular in his habits ; and fond of the disci- 
pline of military life, — these qualities, joined to his power of 
imposing upon the credulity of others by an affectation of 
superior wisdom, gave him great influence both at home and 
abroad. Standing, also, foremost on the list of colonels in the 
army ; regarded with confidence by the English government as 
well as by his own ; and having paid great attention to the 
condition of all the colonies, he expected, in case of war, to 
be promoted at once to the charge of a regiment, if not to be 
made a general officer. Hence, in his despatches to England, 
1749. he not only urged the necessity of opposing the designs of the 
p " French, and destroying their settlements at the eastward, but, 
in his speeches at home, he recommended to Massachusetts to 
extend her settlements into such parts of that territory as were 
obviously included in the provincial charter, to be beforehand 
with her rivals, and to frustrate their schemes. 2 

The possessions of the French at the eastward were much 
more extensive than those of the English. In Acadia, they 

1 Mass. Archives ; History of the 2 Hutchinson, iii. 18 ; 1 M. H. 

War, p. 7 ; Hutchinson, iii. 12, 13 j Coll. vii. 69 ; Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 

Haliburton's N. S. i. ; Minot, i. 132, 259. 
133 ; Bancroft, iv. 67-72. 


had seized upon the isthmus near Bay Verte, and had built a chap. 
fort, which secured the passage to Quebec without going upon ^^ 
the ocean. Some thirteen miles distant, towards Chiegnecto, 1749. 
they had a block house ; and three miles farther on they had 
a large and strong fort, mounting upwards of thirty guns, 
within half a mile of the basin of Chiegnecto, at the bottom 
of the Bay of Fundy. Upon the S.t. John's they had also built 
two forts before the peace of Utrecht, which were now repaired 
and strengthened ; and there was a rumor, which obtained 
credit, though unfounded, that they had begun a settlement 
upon the Kennebec, which secured to them the carrying place 
from that river to the Chaudiere. The garrisons at these sta- 
tions were not, indeed, large ; nor were any of the forts of 
sufficient strength to withstand a long siege. But the indomi- 
table activity of the French, and their influence with the Indian 
tribes, whose passions they could easily inflame, and whose war 
chiefs they could readily induce to grasp again the tomahawk, 
made them a formidable foe ; and the facilities of communica- 
tion from one point to another enabled them to concentrate 
their forces wherever an attack was threatened with great 
expedition. For these reasons, the difficulties to be encoun- 
tered in dislodging them from the country were much greater 
than they would have been had the English been well fortified 
in the parts which they occupied, and had they paid equal 
attention to the formation of a chain of posts, not distantly 
separated from each other, and easily accessible. 1 

Nor was it at the east alone that clouds were gathering. It 
was well known that, for years past, the French had been 
active at the west and at the south. Before the war of 1744, 
they had thrown up fortifications upon the back of Virginia, 
Pennsylvania, and New York, as well as near the crest of the 

1 MS. Report, s. d., in MS. Let- relating to Cape Breton, &c, by an 
ters and Papers, 1721-1760, in Mass. impartial Frenchman, Lond. 1760, 
Hist. Soc. Coll. ; Letters and Mems. p. 294 j Hutchinson, iii. 19. 


chap. Green Mountains, in Vermont ; and, stretching from these 
s J3^ points across the country by the way of Detroit to the banks 
1749. of the Illinois, and down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mex- 
ico, they had sent out exploring parties, and established mili- 
tary posts and magazines of stores, so that the frontiers of the 
English were surrounded with their intrenchments, designed as 
a bulwark against British ambition. 1 
1754. Such was the state of affairs at the opening of the year 
1754. The progress of the English colonies had been so rapid, 
and their growth so unparalleled in the annals of history, 
that America was beginning to attract a degree of attention 
which had not been heretofore bestowed upon her territory ; 
and, as the importance of the settlements, in both a military 
and a commercial point of view, could not but be evident to 
every one who considered their position, the difficulties with 
France, which were upon the eve of convulsing the country to 
its centre, to the eye of the philosopher opened, in the future, a 
prospect of surpassing interest, and promised results whose 
importance was not circumscribed by the narrow limits of one 
generation, but which have reached onwards to our own day, 
and which will continue to be felt so long as free institutions 
shall be supported in this land. 

The difference in the condition of the colonies of France 
and of England is worthy of notice. All the possessions of 
France in America were united under one governor, whose 
power was nearly as absolute as the power of the king. The 
genius of the people and of the government was military ; and 
the blighting influence of feudal organization extended over 
the whole country. The priest, the soldier, and the noble 
ruled in Canada ; the habitans were in a state of abject servi- 
tude. The hardy coureurs des bois, who roamed over the 
delightful regions extending from the great lakes to the banks 

1 Letters and Mems. relating to 17 ; Hutchinson, iii. 19 ; Minot, L 
Cape Breton, 295 j Burr's Discourse, 181; N. Am. Rev. for July, 1839. 


of the Father of Waters, enjoyed, indeed, a degree of inde- chap 
pendence during their wanderings ; but at home, in the winter _J J ^ 
season, when confined to their wigwams, they were scarcely the 1754. 
same beings, but submitted with listlessness to the sway of the 
priesthood. The Indians were the natural allies of the French. 
Living with them on terms of familiar intercourse, speaking 
their language, adopted into their tribes, and cohabiting with 
their squaws, the lower order of the white population of Canada 
became deeply enamoured of the charms of a forest life ; and 
by this means a connecting link was formed between the races, 
of which the Jesuits availed themselves to strengthen the bonds 
of union, and to secure the cooperation of those whose modes 
of warfare, secret and cunning, rendered them dangerous as 
foes, but valuable as allies, and serviceable in forwarding their 
schemes of aggrandizement. 1 

The British colonies, on the other hand, were scattered over 
a wide extent of territory, and were divided into distinct and 
independent governments. Unaccustomed to act in concert, 
save where a mutual confederacy or a particular exigency 
joined together a few neighbors, each had its own ends to 
serve and its own interests to advance. They were more 
nearly agreed in their jealousy of English encroachment, 
though all acknowledged allegiance to the crown, and unitedly 
repudiated the charge of disloyalty. In different parts of the 
country dissimilar languages were spoken, indicative of the 
various origin of the emigrants. From Germany, from Swe- 
den, and from Holland, as well as from England, had come 
those who settled the regions bordering upon the Atlantic ; 
and they brought with them to these shores the manners and 
customs of the land of their birth, and the opinions and preju- 
dices to which they had been accustomed. They harmonized 
chiefly in one purpose — of possessing and subduing the fair 
fields before them, and of wresting from the soil by diligent 

1 Minot, L 177, 178. 


chap, labor, and from the ocean by an extended commerce, the means 
J^t^, of subsistence for themselves and their families. Their inter- 
1754. course with the Indians was less cordial than that of the 
French. There were few points of affinity between them, and 
they had few interests in common. In rare cases they lived 
in proximity without collision ; but nearly every where their 
paths were different, and the red man had little sympathy with 
the pale face, who was driving him back from his accustomed 
haunts to a new home in the pathless forests of the distant 
west. 1 

A war between England and France seemed inevitable. 
175£ Hostilities, indeed, had already commenced at the south ; and 
the English traders among the Twigtwees, near the Miami, 
whom Gist had recently visited, being accused of invading the 
territory of the French, they were seized as prisoners and taken 
to Presqu'Isle, where a strong fort was building. 2 In the 

1753. following year, a letter was sent by Governor Dinwiddie, of 
Oct. 30. ° J ' J 

Virginia, to St. Pierre, the commander of the French forces on 

the Ohio, requiring him to withdraw from the dominions of 
Dec. 15. England ; and upon his refusal to comply, instant complaint 

1754. was made to the court of Great Britain, and a body of troops, 
three hundred in number, 3 was ordered to be raised for the 
protection of the frontiers. In this expedition George Wash- 
ington, then just twenty-two, commenced his military career ; 
and the youthful Virginian, whose days had been spent in the 
peaceful pursuit of a surveyor of lands, promptly responded to 
the call of his country, and was appointed lieutenant colonel 
of the troops raised for the public defence. Little did he 

1 Minot, i. 178, 179. Major Washington, who was to com- 

2 Olden Times, ii. 9, 10; Plain mand the whole. Afterwards, 100 
Facts, 42 ; Ramsay's Am. Rev. 36 ; more were raised, and the command 
Sparks's Franklin, iv. 71, 330 ; of the whole was given to Colonel 
Sparks's Washington ; N. Am. Rev. Joshua Fry ; and Washington was ap- 
for July, 1839 ; Parkman's Conspiracy pointed lieutenant colonel, and made 
of Pontiac, 87. second in command. Sparks's Wash- 

3 Two companies of 100 men each ington, ii. 1-4, notes ; Sargent's Brad- 
were first ordered to be raised, the dock's Expedition, 40. 

one by Captain Trent and the other by 


foresee the consequences which were to result from this move- chap. 
ment ; little did his associates dream of the honors which ^^ 
awaited him in the future. Then was the seed sown ; the har- 1754. 
vest was not far distant. 1 

It was late in the spring, when the wild flowers covered the May 1. 
sides of the Alleghanies and the birds were chanting their 
merriest songs, that the little army, led by the gallant officer 
who had already won golden opinions by his bravery and 
merit, took up its line of march towards the head quarters of 
the enemy. At the end of four weeks a skirmish occurred, in May 2a 
which ten of the French, under Jumonville, were killed, and 
twenty-one made prisoners. 2 While waiting for reinforce- 
ments, the victors intrenched themselves at the Great Meadows, 
and gave to their stronghold the name of Fort Necessity. 
Soon an alarm was spread that several hundred French and July 1. 
Indians were advancing from the Ohio, 3 and two days after an July 3. 
engagement ensued. The English were but a handful com- 
pared to their assailants ; but when was ever true courage 
known to shrink from even a superior force ? The action 
lasted nine hours, during which nearly two hundred of the 
French and their allies were slain. The situation of Washing- 
ton was perilous ; and, hemmed in on every side, he found 
himself compelled to yield, and to submit to the terms which 
were harshly imposed and shamefully broken. Thus the banks 
of the Ohio remained in the possession of the French ; forts 
were built to secure their advantage ; the Indians were con- 
firmed in their defection from the English ; and the frontiers 
were again exposed to their ravages. 4 

1 Plain Facts, 45, 46 ; Ramsay's s Sargent, Hist. Braddock's Exped. 

Am. Rev. 37 ; Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 49, 50, says this intelligence was re- 

264-267 ; 1M.H. Coll. vii. 70-75 ; ceived June 29, while Washington 

Gordon's Am. Rev. i. 88 ; Sparks's was at Gist's plantation ; and July 1, 

Washington, ii. 1, 431, 446; Sparks's his troops returned to the Great 

Franklin, iii. 251-263 ; N. Am. Rev. Meadows. 

for Julv, 1839 ; Lord Mahon's Hist. 4 Pouchot's Mems. i. 14-17 ; Hist. 

Eng. i. '307, note. of the War, 18, 19 ; 1 M. H. CoU. vi. 

"■ On this affair, see Sparks's Wash- 138-144, and vii. 73, 74 ; Chalmers, 

ington, ii. 26, &c. Revolt, ii. 268, 269 ; Minot, i. 184 j 


chap. Representations had by this time been made to the English 

^J^ government of the necessity of union in the colonies to resist 

1753. the aggressions of the French ; 1 and, approving the plan, a 

and " grand congress of commissaries," or delegates from the sev- 

Sep 19. 

17 5 4 ' eral provinces, was appointed to be held at Albany, as well to 
Jun. H. i re3b i w fth the Six Nations, whose alliance it was important to 
secure, 2 as to concert a scheme for a general union of the Brit- 
ish colonies. Already, by the statesmen of America, 3 had sim- 
ilar proposals been made ; and Benjamin Franklin, the " Pro- 
metheus of modern times," 4 a native of Boston, but a resident 
of Philadelphia ; like Washington, distinguished for his per- 
sonal merit, and, like Washington, imbued with a glowing 
devotion to liberty ; ingenious, persevering, and profoundly 
sagacious ; whose attainments in natural science had attracted 
the attention of the philosophers of the old world, and whose 
brilliant speculations in political science were destined to be 
equally conspicuous ; inspired by the genius of advancing civ- 
ilization, had wrought out in his own mind problems of sublime 
interest for his country and the world, and was busied in 
sketching the outlines of a confederacy which should unite the 
whole American people upon the broad basis of common inter- 
1753. ests and a mutual dependence. " A voluntary union," said he, 


" entered into by the colonies themselves, would be preferable 
to one imposed by Parliament ; for it would be, perhaps, not 
much more difficult to procure, and more easy to alter and 

Sparks's Washington, ii. 474 et seq. ; x This project was started in 1750. 

Bancroft, iv. 116-121; Conspiracy of Bancroft, iv. 75. 

Pontiac, 88, 89 ; Warburton's Con- 2 Johnson, in Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 

quest of Canada, ii. 7-10 ; Sargent's 672 ; Letter of Lieutenant Governor 

Braddock's Expedition, 49-55. " This Be Lancey, in Trumbull MSS. i. 79 ; 

skirmish," says Lord Mahon, "of Shirley's Speech of April 2, in Boston 

small importance, perhaps, in itself, AVeekly News Letter for April 25. 

was yet among the principal causes of 3 Penn had concerted a plan for the 

the war. It is no less memorable as union of the colonies as early as 1698. 

the first appearance in the pages of N. Y. Colon. Doc'ts, iv. 296, 297. 

history of one of their brightest orna- 4 Kant's Works, quoted in Ban- 

ments — of that great and good man, croft, iv. 255. 
General Washington." Hist Eng- 
land, i. 294, Appleton's ed. 


improve, as circumstances should require and experience di- chap. 
rect." 1 J^_ 

Happily for America, these views, which, had they been 1754. 
uttered a half century before, would have been received with 
distrust, as leaning towards independence, were forced upon 
the notice of the statesmen of England by the condition of the 
colonies and the encroachments of France. Hence the prop- 
osition for a congress at Albany, acceptable as it was on this 
side of the Atlantic, if it originated here, was favored by the 
mother country and sanctioned by her authority. 2 

After some delay this congress met. Delegates from seven June is 
provinces were present ; 3 and messengers had been sent to the 
Indian castles to request their attendance, but few of them 
arrived until the last of the month. The members of this 
assembly, both for abilities and fortune, were among the most 
considerable men in America ; and never had there been con- 
vened in New York a more eminent body. 4 The first day was 
spent in organizing the convention and settling the prelimina- 
ries, after which business was promptly despatched. The 
negotiations with the Indians were made at intervals, and the 
"chain of friendship" w*as thoroughly brightened. But the 
question of a union of the colonies was the all-important theme ; 
and on Monday a committee was appointed, of one from each Jun. 24. 
province, to "prepare and receive plans or schemes for the 
union of the colonies, and to digest them into one general plan 

1 Anon. Lett, from Philadelphia, kins and Howard ; from Maryland, 
attributed to Franklin ; and Clark's Tasker and Barnes ; and from Penn- 
Lett. in 1 M. H. Coll. iv. 74. Comp. sylvania, Penn, Peters, Norris, and 
also Bancroft, iv. 75, 91. Franklin. See Johnson, in Doc. Hist. 

2 Hutchinson, iii. 20 ; Doc. Hist. N. Y. i. 553, 554 ; and 1 M. H. Coll. 
N. Y. ii. 545. vii. 76, 203. The colonies to the 

3 The delegates from New York south of the Potomac were not repre- 
were De Lancey, Murray, Johnson, sented. 

Chambers, and Smith ; from Massa- 4 It was compared, at the time, by 

chusetts, "Welles, Chandler, Hutch- a spirited writer, to " one of the an- 

inson, Partridge, and Worthington ; cient Greek conventions for support- 

from New Hampshire, Atkinson, ing their expiring liberty against the 

Wibird, Weare, and Sherburne ; from power of the Persian empire," &c. 

Connecticut, Pitkins, Wolcott, and 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 77. Comp. also 

Williams ; from Rhode Island, Hop- Hutchinson, iii. 20. 

VOL. II. 12 



chap, for the inspection of this board." * The members of this com- 

^^^ mittee present to us names distinguished in the annals of our 
1754. country. They were Thomas Hutchinson, of Massachusetts, 
afterwards governor of the province, a man of splendid abili- 
ties, but loving money and office ; Theodore Atkinson, of New 
Hampshire, chief justice of that province, conspicuous for his 
virtues, and of unassuming modesty ; William Pitkin, of Con- 
necticut, afterwards governor of the colony, active, persevering, 
and of excellent abilities ; Stephen Hopkins, of Rhode Island, 
governor of that province for nine years, and a signer of the 
memorable Declaration of Independence ; Benjamin Franklin, 
of Pennsylvania, also a signer of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence ; Benjamin Tasker, of Maryland ; and William Smith, of 
New York, a lawyer of eminence, afterwards a member of his 
majesty's Council and a judge of the Court of King's Bench. 
Franklin was, without doubt, the master spirit of the commit- 
tee ; and, as the movement was one in which he was deeply 
interested, he had brought with him the " heads " of a plan 
which he had personally "projected." 2 

Jun. 28. On the 28th, " hints of a scheme " of union were presented, 
of which copies were taken by the corrfmissioners of the respec- 
tive provinces. These "hints" were debated with singular 
eloquence for several days, in speeches which were at once 
" both nervous and pathetic ; " but, after nearly a fortnight had 

July 10. passed, no decision was reached. At that date " Mr. Franklin 
reported the draught in a new form," which was " read para- 
graph by paragraph and debated, and the further consideration 
of it deferred to the afternoon," when it was adopted. 3 By its 
terms, the general government was to be administered by a 
president, appointed and supported by the crown, and a council, 
chosen by the representatives of the several colonies. This 
council was to consist of forty-eight members ; of which Mas- 

1 Johnson, in Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 3 Johnson, in Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 
564. 570, 571, 589, 591, 605, 611-615; 

2 Hutchinson, iiL 21. 1 M. H. Coll. m 77. 


sachusetts and Virginia were each to choose seven, New Hamp- chap. 
shire and Rhode Island two each, Connecticut five, New York, J^^ 
Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina four each, New 1754. 
Jersey three, and Pennsylvania six. A new election of mem- 
bers was to be made triennially ; and on the death or resigna- 
tion of any member, his place was to be supplied at the next 
sitting of the colony he represented. After the first three 
years, the quota of each province was to be determined by the 
proportion it paid into the general treasury ; though no prov- 
ince was to be entitled to more than seven, or less than two, 
councillors. This council was empowered to choose its own 
speaker, but could neither be dissolved nor prorogued, nor could 
it continue in session longer than six weeks at one time with 
out the consent of its members or the special command of the 
crown. The assent of the president was required to all acts 
of the council to give to them validity ; and it was his duty to 
cause such acts to be executed. With the advice of the coun- 
cil he could likewise hold treaties with the Indians, regulate 
trade, make peace or declare war, purchase their lands for the 
crown if not within the limits of particular provinces, settle 
such purchases, and make laws for their government until the 
crown should form them into distinct governments. The coun- 
cil was further authorized to raise and pay soldiers, build forts 
for public defence, equip vessels to gtfard the coast and pro- 
tect the trade on the ocean and lakes, and levy such duties as 
were necessary to defray the expenses accruing ; but no men 
were to be impressed in any colony without the consent of its 
legislature. A quorum of the council was to consist of twenty- 
five members, among whom there was to be one or more from 
a majority of the colonies ; and the laws made by that body 
were not to be repugnant, but " as near as may be agreeable," 
to the laws of England, and were to be transmitted to the king 
for approval as soon as practicable. If not disapproved within 
three years, they were to remain in force. All military offi- 
cers were to be nominated by the president, and approved by 


chap, the council before receiving their commissions ; and all civil 

^J3^ officers were to be nominated by the council, and approved by 

1754. the president. The first meeting of the government was to be 

held at Philadelphia, and was to be called by the president as 

soon as convenient after his appointment. 1 

Such was the confederacy of 1754, framed in July, just 
twenty-two years before the Declaration of American Inde- 
pendence, and assented to by two persons, at least, whose 
names are affixed to that memorable instrument. The consti- 
tution, as will be seen, was a compromise between the preroga- 
tive and popular power. It was by no means easy, in its 
arrangement, to avoid giving offence to both the crown and 
the colonies. The jealousy of the latter was as great as that 
of the former ; and concessions leaning either way would have 
been instantly rejected. It is, therefore, a high tribute to the 
wisdom of Franklin that the plan, which he had " the principal 
hand in framing," was seriously opposed by no one on the roy- 
alist side but De Lancey, of New York, and that it was 
approved at the time by every member of the congress but 
. him. 2 

As the commissioners from the several governments were 
desired to lay the foregoing plan before their constituents, and 
as copies of the same were ordered to be transmitted to the 
chief magistrates of the unrepresented colonies, . there was 
nothing binding in the action of the congress until confirmed 
by the assemblies. Before these the matter was brought ; but, 
when the reports were made by the several delegates, not orie 
was inclined to part with so great a share of power as was to 
be given to the general government. In England the plan met 
with a similar fate. It was transmitted, with the other pro- 
ceedings of the convention, to be laid before the king ; but the 

1 Trumbull MSS. i. 93, 94 ; John- volt, ii. 271, 272 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 
son, in Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 612-615 ; 203-207. 

Minot, i. 188-198; Trumbull's Con- 2 For the alleged cause of De Lan- 
necticut, ii. 541-544; Chalmers, Ee- cey's opposition, see 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 



Board of Trade, on receiving the minutes, were astonished at the chap. 
character of the draught ; and reflecting men in the old world ^^J^L, 
" dreaded American union as the keystone of independence." * 1754. 

A few months later, a private correspondence was carried Dec. 
on between Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, and Benjamin 
Franklin, who had recently arrived in Boston on a visit to the Oct. 
home of his childhood, relative to the plan of a union of the 
colonies. 2 Governor Shirley was in favor of an assembly to 
consist of all the governors and a certain number of the Coun- 
cil of the colonies, with power to agree upon measures of 
defence, and to draw upon England for money necessary to 
execute these measures, to be reimbursed by a tax levied by 
Parliament. To this scheme Franklin objected in several 
ingenious letters, which were afterwards published ; 3 and, 
without opposing a more intimate union with' Great Britain by 
representatives in Parliament, provided a reasonable number 
was allowed, he, at the same time, urged a repeal of the acts 
restraining the trade and manufactures of the colonies, as unjust 
and impolitic. It was of no more importance, in his estima- 
tion, to the general state, " whether a merchant, a smith, or a 
hatter grew rich in Old or in New England," than " whether 
an iron manufacturer lived at Birmingham or Sheffield." If 
in both cases they were subjects of the king, whatever lib- 
erties the latter enjoyed should be enjoyed also by the former. 4 

Early in this year the attention of the General Court was 1754. 

Mar 28 

called by Governor Shirley to the encroachments of the French 
within the limits of Massachusetts ; and a small army was pro- 
posed to be raised, to march to the eastward to break up the 

1 Clarke's Lett, in 1 M. H. Coll. iv. 3 In the London Magazine for 
85 ; Report of Committee of Connec- February, 1766. Comp. Franklin's 
ticut, in 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 207-214; Works, iii. 578, iv. 172 ; and see Gor- 
Hutchinson, iii. 23; Trumbull's Con- don's Am. Rev. i. 91-94. 

necticut, ii. 355-357 ; -Smith's N. Y. 4 Hutchinson, iii. 23-25 ; Frank- 

ii. 180 et seq. lin's Works, iv. 251; Bancroft, iv. 

2 Letter of Oliver Partridge, of 172-175. 
October 21, in MS. Letters of Israel 
Williams, vol. i. 


chap, settlements, or, at all events, to secure by forts the passes from 

y _JJ^_ Quebec for New England by the way of Kennebec. The gov- 

1754. ernor was requested to assume the direction of this affair ; 

April 9. 

June 2. and embarking for Falmouth, with a quorum of the Council 
Jun. 26. and several of the House, a conference was held, and a treaty 
was made with the Norridgewock and Penobscot Indians, to 
prevent their being alarmed. The forces which had been 
raised, consisting of eight hundred men, under John "Winslow, 
of Marshfield, who had served in the Spanish war, were then 
Aug. ordered to the Kennebec ; and a fort, called Fort Halifax, was 
built about three quarters of a mile below Taconnet Falls, and 
thirty-seven miles above Fort Richmond. A second fort was 
likewise built eighteen miles below the first, at a place called 
Cushnoc, now the site of the city of Augusta, to which the 
name of Fort Western was given, in honor of an acquaintance 
of the governor, resident in Sussex, England. The expedition, 
however, which originated with Governor Shirley, was of little 
benefit to the province ; and both French and Indians, relin- 
quishing the scheme of seizing the British possessions, which 
had long been agitated, turned their attention to the defence 
of their own homes. 1 

Four projects were now devised, in three of which Governor 
Shirley was more or less concerned. 2 Making his own interest 
his idol, and every thing else subservient, his thirst for renown, 
which swallowed up all other feelings, led him to scruple at 
no measures for the attainment of the object which was nearest 

1 Mass. Rec's ; Winslow's MS. the encroachments of the French. 

Journal; Stirling's Vindication of Mortimer's England, iii. 510. 

Shirley, 2-5; Hist, of the War, 119; 2 Hist, of the War, 25. It appears 

Mortimer's England, iii. 510, ed. that, long before the arrival of Brad- 

1766 ; Hutchinson, iii. 25-27 ; 1 M. dock, Governor Shirley had made 

H. Coll. vii. 88 ; Minot, i. 184-187 ; preparation for the prosecution of 

Warburton's Conquest of Canada, ii. these enterprises, and had issued com- 

11. Governor Shirley, at the conclu- missions to various officers. SeeWil- 

sion of this expedition, sent despatches liams's MSS. i. 107,108, 113,114, 

to England, informing the ministry of 115, 117, under dates January 4, Feb- 

the alarming aspect of affairs in the ruary 1, February 10, February 11, 

colonies, and soliciting aid to resist March 7, and March 10, 1755, 


his heart ; and, though the blandishments of power never occa- chap 
sioned in him the exile of common sense, the fervor with which ^^ 
he entered into the prosecution of his schemes, and the uncom- 1754. 
mon application which he brought to bear upon every point, 
spread an infectious enthusiasm among his associates, and 
blinded them to the difficulties which must inevitably be en- 
countered. Mr. Shirley, indeed, seemed never to flag. To 
fatigue he was a stranger. He was fertile in expedients to 
meet every emergency. He could perform more labor, and 
travel more miles, in a given time, than almost any other man 
in New England. He was here, there, and every where. 
Profuse in embraces, in compliments, and tears, smiles and 
caresses were lavished where necessary ; flattery was poured 
out with prodigal hypocrisy ; and with well-feigned wisdom he 
could bear his part in the most grave deliberations, duping the 
unwary by his brilliant harangues, and seducing the discerning 
to an approval of his measures. 1 

The first project for the conduct of the war was that in 
which Braddock, a personal favorite of the Duke of Cumber- 
land, was the prominent actor. This officer, whose unfortu- 
nate end is to be attributed chiefly to his own folly, embarked 
for America in the winter, holding a commission as commander- Dec. 21, 
in-chief of the colonial forces, and of the English troops which 
accompanied him. Negotiations were then pending between 
England and France, professedly for an amicable adjustment 
of all matters in dispute ; but the proposals of England — 
which demanded that France should destroy all her forts as 
far as the Wabash, raze Niagara and Crown Point, surrender 
the peninsula of Nova Scotia, with a strip, of land twenty 
leagues wide along the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic, and 
leave the intermediate country to the St. Lawrence a neu- 

1 Washington, like most others, on says, " his every word and action dis- 

his first introduction to Shirley, was cover in him the gentleman and poli- 

" perfectly charmed " by his " charac- tician." Letter to Fairfax, April 20, 

ter and appearances." " I think," he 1755, in Works, ii. 74. 


chap, tral desert — seemed so preposterous that they were unhes- 
^^^ itatingly rejected. The French king was willing to sacrifice 

1754. for peace all but honor and the protection due to his subjects • 
but he was unwilling to relinquish all for which he had been 
so long contending. He would consent that New England 
should reach on the east to the Penobscot, and be divided from 
Canada on the north by the summit of the intervening high- 
lands, and that the valley of the Ohio should be left as neutral 
territory ; but to ask him to yield more was, in effect, only to 
prepare the way for the complete subjugation of his dominions 
in the new world. 1 

1755. Towards the last of February the squadron of Commodore 

Feb. 20. J 

Keppel anchored in Hampton Road ; about the middle of 
Mar. 14 March the transports arrived ; and a month later, by the 
Apr. 13. orders of Braddock, Shirley and the other governors met him 
at Alexandria, to consult upon measures for his majesty's ser- 
vice. 2 The general had received positive instructions to con- 
duct in person an expedition to Fort Du Quesne ; for the pres- 
ervation of Oswego and the reduction of Niagara, he proposed 
that the regiments of Shirley and Pepperrell should proceed to 
Lake Ontario ; a portion of the provincial troops, commanded 
by General Johnson, was to march to Crown Point ; and the 
New England troops, assembled by his majesty's directions, 
were to sail to the eastward to. reduce the French settlements 
in Nova Scotia. 3 

The expedition under Braddock, consisting of twenty-two 
June 7 hundred men, left Fort Cumberland early in June ; and a 

to 10. 

march of over a hundred miles lay before the army to reach 
its destination. , The country through which he was to pass 

1 Sargent's Braddock's Expedition, 496; Precis des Faits, 160, 168; 
188, 189, 287 ; Bancroft, iv. 176, Pouchot's Mems. i. 44-46 ; Stirling's 
177. Vindication of Shirley, 7-11; 1 M. H. 

2 Shirley set out for Alexandria the Coll. vii. 90 ; Hutchinson, iii. 3 1, 32 ;' 
last of March. Letter to Ephraim Johnson, in Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 648- 
Williams, of March 29, 1755, inWil- 651; Conspiracy of Pontiac, 93, 94; 
liams's MSS. i. 121. Sargent's Braddock's Expedition, 132, 

3 Journal H. of R. for 1755, 493- 133, 300-307. 


was a trackless waste — a portion of it not inaptly named the chap. 
Shades of Death ; and innumerable difficulties were to be sur- ^^ 
mounted in traversing so desolate a region, across the Allegha- 1755. 
nies, through unfrequented woods and dangerous defiles. A 
scout of six hundred men had been sent in advance, to open May 30. 
the roads and collect provisions ; l but the main body dragged 
slowly along, with military exactness, heedless of the caution 
which had been given by Franklin, that " the Indians were dex- 
terous in laying and executing ambuscades." " The savages," 
was the self-confident reply of the general, " may be formidable 
to your raw American militia ; upon the king's regulars and 
disciplined troops it is impossible they should make any impres- 
sion." Washington had joined the army at Will's Creek, May 30 
before it left Fort Cumberland ; and, better acquainted with 
the craft of the Indians, he could not but observe with the 
deepest concern the fatal delusion which had seized upon his 
superior, and trembled for the consequences which must result 
from his temerity. 

It was no easy task to conduct the movements of an army, 
encumbered with a load of needless baggage, threading its way 
with ceaseless toil through the intricacies of a forest abound- 
ing in quagmires, anon ascending steep, rugged hills, and then 
descending headlong declivities ; but at length the advanced July 8. 
body of twelve hundred men, including the four hundred under 
St. Clair and eight hundred under Braddock, reached the 
junction of the Monongahela and Youghiogeny, twelve miles 
distant from Fort Du Quesne. The nature of the ground here 
debarred the crossing of the stream, and a smoother path was 
sought. The first passage was easily made ; and the troops, July 9. 
elated at the prospect before them, though enfeebled by toil 
and an unwholesome diet, moved proudly down the margin of 

1 The whole blame of the failure sary arrangements for its prosecution 
of this expedition cannot be justly on the part of the contractors who 
ascribed to Braddock, as it is admitted were to furnish the army with sup- 
by Mr. Sparks that there was unwar- plies. Writings of Washington, ii. 
rantable delay in making the neces- 77, note. 


chap, the stream to the stirring music of the drum and the fife, which 

^ ^ pealed for the first time upon those vast solitudes, frightening 

1755. the jay, which screamed discordantly as it wheeled through the 
air, and driving to their lairs the wolf and the catamount. 

Warned of the approach of the invaders, with the consent 
of Contrecceur, two hundred and fifty French and Canadians, 
and six hundred and fifty Indians 1 under Beaujeu, hastened 
early in the morning to a spot near a brook previously selected 
for an ambuscade. The narrow road which descended to this 
stream was tunnelled through deep and gloomy woods, whose 
sepulchral arches stretched far away, like those of a vast Gothic 
cathedral ; and two ravines, bordered by trees and bushes, fur- 
nished a concealment, where the Indians ensconced themselves, 
and, levelling their guns through the openings in the branches, 
poured a deadly fire upon the advancing columns. The fierce 
onset was courageously met, and the general himself pressed 
forward to share the danger and animate his troops ; but all 
was in vain. The combat was desperate, and column after 
column of the English were slain. Of eighty-six officers 
twenty-six were killed and thirty-seven were wounded ; of the 
men more than half were killed or wounded. Sir Peter Hal- 
ket was among the killed ; and young Shirley, the son of the 
governor and the secretary of Braddock, was shot through the 
head. Gage, who led the vanguard, and who, twenty years 
later, saw his routed battalions recoil in disorder before the 
murderous fire from the breastwork on Bunker's Hill, was 
among the wounded ; as were Colonel Burton and Sir John 
Sinclair. Gates, the future conqueror of Burgoyne, escaped 
unharmed, as did also Washington, though two horses were 
shot under him, and four balls pierced his coat. Five horses 
were disabled under the commander-in-chief ; at last a bullet 
pierced his side, and he fell. The rout was complete ; and 
July 13. four days after, as the army retreated, Braddock died. To 

1 Such is the French account. Doc'ts in Mass. Archives, ix. 211. 

Shirley's expedition. 187 

the traveller, who passes over the national road, his grave is chap 
still pointed out, about a mile from Fort Necessity. 1 -,,^-tL. 

The second expedition, under Shirley and Pepperrell, was to 1755. 
proceed to Lake Ontario for the preservation of Oswego and 
the reduction of Niagara. Mr. Shirley, after the consultation Apr. is. 
at Alexandria, returned by the way of New York and Hartford May 13. 
to Boston, to prepare for the discharge of this trust ; and hav- 
ing attended an assembly for the election of councillors, and May 28. 
transacted other business relative to the campaign, he left the 
capital in the province sloop to proceed to the westward. The Jun. 28. 
tidings of Braddock's defeat and death reached Boston subse- July 23. 
quent to his departure ; and as he arrived at Albany in about July 10. 
a fortnight, the news was not communicated to him until he 
had left for Oswego. By this event the chief command of the July 30 
forces of the country devolved upon him ; and he was in the 
position to which he had long aspired, with no superior on this 
side of the Atlantic, and on the high road to honor and distinc- 
tion in England. As may well be supposed, to one of his tem- 
perament, who had been looking forward for years to this 
consummation of his wishes, there was a slight degree of intox- 

On Braddock's expedition, see smallest expectation. But see the 
French Doc'ts in Mass. Archives, ix. wondrous works of Providence, and 
211; Winslow's MS. Journal, fols. 136 the uncertainty of human things! 
-141 ; Letter to the People of Eng- We, but a few moments before, be- 
laud, 33 et seq. ; Hist, of the War, lieved our numbers almost equal to 
23-25 ; Pouchot's Mems. i. 37-44 ; the Canadian force ; they only expect- 
Smith's Narr. ; Entick, i. 143 ; Chaun- ed to annoy us. Yet, contrary to all 
cy's Lett, on Ohio Defeat, 4 ; 1 M. H. expectation and human probability, 
Coll. vii. 91-94; 2 M. H. Coll. viii. 153 and even to the common course of 
-157 ; Hutchinson, iii. 32 ; Mortimer's things, we were totally defeated, and 
England, 514; Chalmers, Revolt, ii. sustained the loss of every thing." 
275 ; Sparks's Washington, ii. 86-88, Sparks's Washington, ii. 90. The 
473 ; Warburton's Conquest of Can- visit to Braddock's field, which re- 
ada, ii. 16-26; Conspiracy of Pontiac, suited in the discovery of the bones 
94-101 ; Bancroft, iv. 184-192 ; Hil- of the slain, has been often compared 
dreth, ii. 459-461. After his return to the discovery of the bones of the 
from this expedition, Washington soldiers of the legions of Varus, in the 
wrote from Mount Vernon, August 2, forest of Teutenburg, as described by 
1755, " It is true we have been beat- Tacitus, Ann. b. i. ch. 61. Smith's 
en, shamefully beaten by a handful of Discourse of April 5, 1757, pub. at 
men, who only intended to molest and London, 1759. 
disturb our march. Victory was their 

188 Shirley's expedition. 

chap, ication in the possession of such extensive power ; and he could 
^33i^ n °ld U P hi s nea ^ ^o r e proudly than ever, under the conscious- 
1755. ness that whoever stood in the way of his preferment could 
boast less merit than himself in claiming a reward for their 
services, and could plead less eloquently for the favor of the 
crown. 1 Yet he was never so intent on contemplating his own 
grandeur as to lose all patience in laboring to earn it. " Honor 
virtutis prcemium" was the motto of his ancestors ; and this 
motto he was ready to adopt for himself, allowing him to inter- 
pret it to suit his own wishes. 2 

Albany was the grand theatre of the preparations for the 
northern expedition against Fort Frederick, as well as for that 
to the westward for the reduction of Niagara. The general, 
July 10. on his arrival, however, did not find things in the forwardness 
which he had reason to expect. The provincials, discontented 
with the inactivity of a long encampment, were anxious to be 
in motion ; and his own troops were filing off in different 
directions from Schenectady towards Oswego. 3 The distance 
of the latter place from Albany is towards three hundred miles. 
Over the first sixteen miles, to Schenectady, there was a good 
wagon road ; and from thence to the Little Falls, in the Mo- 
hawk, at Canajoharie, a distance of sixty-five miles, the commu- 
nication was by bateaux set against a rapid stream, in dry sea- 
sons so shallow that the boatmen were frequently obliged to 
turn out and draw their craft over the rifts with inconceivable 
labor. At the Little Falls was a portage, a mile wide, over 
which the bateaux were transported on sleds, the ground being 

1 See Johnson, in Doc. Hist. N. Y. in "Williams's MSS. i., and letters of 
ii. 684-689. E. Williams of July 8 and July 15, 

2 He would probably have interpret- in ibid. 150, 153. Seth Pomeroy, in 
ed it, " Office is the reward of good a letter dated July 15, in ibid., speaks 
management." of Shirley's and PepperrelPs regiments 

3 Governor Shirley's instructions to as then on their march to Oswego, and 
Ephraim Williams to march to Alba- of General Johnson's regiment as ready 
ny were dated May 31, 1755; and to march for Crown Point, but as be- 
Colonel Williams arrived there early ing detained for the want of stores. 
in July Letter of Shirley of May 31, 

Expedition to oswego. 189 

too marshy to admit the use of wheeled carriages. The same chap 
conveyance was used at the Great Carrying Place, at Oneida, ^3^ 
sixty miles beyond the Little Falls — the current thither being 1755. 
still adverse and extremely swift. Taking water again, the 
troops entered Wood Creek, which leads into the Oneida Lake, 
distant forty miles. This stream, whose banks were fringed 
with thick woods, was then much obstructed with old logs and 
fallen trees. The Oneida Lake stretches from east to west 
some thirty miles, and in calm weather is passed with great 
facility. At its western extremity opens the Onondaga River, 
leading to Oswego, situated at its entrance, on the south side 
of Lake Ontario. The passage through this river, whose cur- 
rent flows with surprising rapidity, and which abounds with 
rifts and rocks, was extremely difficult and hazardous. The 
principal obstruction is a fall, about eleven feet perpendicular, 
twelve miles short of Oswego. 1 

Through this long and " amphibious " march the army pro- 
ceeded with great risk and fatigue. For the management of 
the bateaux, of which at least five hundred were prepared, 
General Shirley had engaged all the young men in the county 
of Albany, who had been formerly employed in the Indian 
trade at Oswego. The fort at Oswego, at first garrisoned by 
twenty-five men, and afterwards by fifty, had been strengthened 
in the spring by a detachment of two hundred soldiers, besides May 
workmen, under Captain King, and Colonel John Bradstreet, 
who had fought under Pepperrell at Louisburg. 2 It was to 
this point the attention of the general was directed ; and here 
his forces were to be concentrated, to proceed to Niagara, 
which was represented to be in a ruinous condition. 

Schuyler's New Jersey regiment, consisting of five hundred 
men, raised at the instance of Governor Shirley, embarked in 
two divisions from Schenectady the beginning of July; and July. 

1 Stirling's Vindication of Shirley, 1 1. Marching orders were given these 
14-16; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 95, 96. troops April 16. 

2 Stirling's Vindication of Shirley, 


chap, the regiments of Shirley and Pepperrell were preparing to 

^J^ follow, when the news of the defeat of Braddock arrived. 1 

1755. This struck a damp on the spirits of the troops, and great 

numbers deserted ; but the general, aware of the necessity of 

pushing forward, pursued his march in spite of every disap- 

Aug.i8. pointment. 2 On reaching Oswego, the necessary preparations 
for proceeding to Niagara were made ; but, at councils of war 

Sept. 18 held soon after, intelligence was received from Niagara and 
Frontenac which led to the belief that a descent was contem- 
plated on Oswego itself; and, as the works were much de- 
cayed, and the post was of the utmost importance for securing 
the frontiers of the western colonies and maintaining the Brit- 
ish* dominion over the great lakes and the country beyond the 
Apalachian range, it was deemed advisable, for its security, to 
commence immediately the erection of a second fort, called 
Ontario, on a high point commanding the old fort ; and a 
third, called Oswego, a short distance west of the old fort. In 
the mean time an attempt was made to embark troops for 

Sep. 18. Niagara ; but a furious storm, which raged for thirteen days, 
prevented its success. During this boisterous weather num- 
bers fell sick, whose tents were an insufficient shelter ; and the 
Indians, well acquainted with the climate, went off, declaring 
the season too far advanced to admit of an expedition on the 
lake. The provisions for the army were by this time much 
reduced, though further supplies were daily expected ; but the 
many discouragements in the way of the expedition, owing to 
this and other causes, led to the postponement of the design 

1 Stirling's Vindication of Shirley, 17, in Williams's MSS. i. 171, 173. 
12, 25. Comp. also Johnson, in Doc. 2 A letter of Ephraim Williams, 
Hist. N. Y. ii. 666, 684, and 1 M. H. dated August 2, 1755, in Williams's 
Coll. vii. 97. Ephraim Williams, than MSS. i. 164, gives an account of Brad- 
whom no braver or more honest man dock's defeat, the news of which had 
could be found in the army, does not reached Albany eleven days before ; 
speak in flattering terms of the con- and Generals Shirley and Johnson en- 
duct of Shirley on this occasion, and deavored to keep the matter as pri- 
confirms the charges of malfeasance vate as possible, for fear it should 
brought against him by others. See intimidate their men. 
his letters of August 14 and August 


until another year ; the troops went into winter quarters ; and chap. 
General Shirley, after seeing them comfortably settled under ^J^_ 
Lieutenant Colonel Mercer, left Oswego, and returned to Mas- 1700. 

Oct 24 

sachusetts to attend to the affairs of his government, which 1756. ' 
needed his presence. Thus ended the second project, less dis- 
astrously than the first, yet fruitlessly, so far as the annoyance 
of the enemy was concerned. 1 

The execution of the third project, originated by Gov- 1755. 
ernor Shirley, 2 was intrusted to General Johnson, of New 
York, which was to proceed to Crown Point for the reduction 
of Fort Frederick. The history of this extraordinary man is 
singularly romantic. A native of Ireland, and a nephew of 
Sir Peter Warren, the associate of Pepperrell in the reduction 
of Louisburg, he embarked for America at the age of nineteen, 1734. 
in consequence, it is said, of the hapless issue of a love affair. 
Here he took charge of an extensive tract of wild land belong- 
ing to his uncle, and, settling in the beautiful valley of the 
Mohawk, carried on a prosperous traffic with the Indians, rap- 
idly rising to wealth and influence. His residences in the val- 
ley — for he had two — were known by the names of Johnson 
Castle and Johnson Hall ; the latter of which, a substantial 
building of wood and stone, is still standing in the village of 
Johnstown. 3 The castle was his ordinary abode ; and here he 
lived in a state of feudal magnificence, keeping open house, and 
welcoming to his board the crowds of Indians who flocked to 
his dwelling. 4 He had supplied the place of his first love by 
a damsel of Dutch 'descent, who bore him several children ; 
and at her decease, he found another favorite in the person of 
Molly Brant, sister of the renowned Mohawk warrior, " whose 
black eyes and laughing face caught his fancy, as, fluttering 

1 Pouchot's Mems. i. 47 ; Stirling's 3 Parkman's Conspiracy of Pontiac, 
Vindication, 27-40 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 80. 

96, 116-124; Smith's N. Y. ii. 221. 4 Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 646; Mems. 

2 Stirling's Vindication, 7 ; Smith's of an American Lady, ii. 61. 
N. Y. ii. 206, 210. 


chap, with ribbons, she galloped past him at a muster of the Tryon 
county militia." 1 

No man, probably, that ever lived in America, was more 
popular with the Indians than William Johnson. He was " the 
tribune " of the Six Nations, who almost idolized him, and who 
would listen to his advice when they would scarcely heed the 
advice of their own chiefs. 2 Tall and erect in his person, 
brusque in his manners, upright in his dealings, 3 undaunted in 
his courage, and gifted by nature with brilliant oratorical pow- 
ers, he was every way fitted for the station he filled, and every 
way worthy the confidence he inspired. Some, indeed, moved 
by jealousy, have insinuated that he was " never distinguished 
for his sense or penetration ; " that he was a magnificent vapor- 
er, boasting of exploits which he was unable to perform ; who, 
" by the splendid representations of his secretary, and the sov- 
ereign decree of his patron," was "exalted into an eminent 
hero ; " and who was indebted " to the panegyrical pen of Mr. 
Wraxall, and the sic volo sic jubeo of Lieutenant Governor 
De Lancey " for " that mighty renown which echoed through 
the colonies, reverberated to Europe, and elevated a raw, inex- 
perienced youth into a kind of second Marlborough." 4 All 
such representations, however, must pass for what they are 
worth ; and it should be remembered that 

" Men that make 
Envy and crooked malice nourishment, 
Dare bite the best." 

Johnson was the competitor of Governor Shirley ; 5 and to 
this is doubtless to be attributed much of the ill treatment 
which he experienced from the latter, and the disparaging re- 

1 Parkman's Conspiracy of Pontiac, 3 See Johnson to the Board of 
81. Trade, in Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 672. 

2 Mems. of an American Lady, ii. 4 Review of Military Operations, 
61 ; Warburton's Conquest of Cana- in 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 114. 
da, ii. 31. 5 See Johnson, in Doc. Hist. N. Y« 

ii. 645, 646, 687. 


flections which were cast upon his conduct. Between two such chap. 
men — the one open and frank-hearted, of a lively, generous, J^^ 
and impulsive spirit; the other cautious, crafty, and dissem- 1755. 
bling his true feelings — no disinterested and self-sacrificing 
friendship could be expected to subsist. They could tolerate 
each other's presence, because both had sense enough to know 
that it would be folly for either to give way to public demon- 
strations of anger ; but beneath this outward interchange of 
unmeaning compliments there was a deep-seated feeling of 
hate, generated, in the one case, by the success of a rival, and 
provoked, in the other, by the treachery of an enemy. * 

Let it not be supposed, however, that Johnson was faultless ; 
for the defects in his character were glaring and great. His 
mind was of that coarse nature which delights in sensual pleas- 
ures. He was vain of his influence with his savage allies, and 
vain of the importance accruing from this source. And, pos- 
sessing no remarkable delicacy of feeling, " in pushing his own 
way he was never distinguished by an anxious solicitude for 
the rights of others." 2 

Mr. Johnson, whose commission for the present expedition 
was signed by Governors Shirley and De Lancey, was at that Apr. 16. 
time at the head of Indian affairs in New York. 3 The assem- 
bly of that province was convened early in August, and, agree- Aug. a. 
ably to the request of the government of Massachusetts, 
resolved to reenforce the army for Crown Point with four 
hundred men. The bill for this purpose passed the House, and 
was approved by the governor ; but when it came before the 
Council it was defeated, the design of a re enforcement was 
dropped, and the assembly adjourned. 4 This, however, did not 

1 Johnson to Shirley, in Doc. Hist. Mass. Rec's ; 1M.H. Coll. vii. 88. 
N. Y. ii. 663. 4 Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 669, 670, 675 

2 Parkman's Conspiracy of Pontiac, -678; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 101, 102; 
82, 83 ; Allen's Biog. Diet. art. John- Smith's N. Y. ii. 214-217 ; Chauncy's 
SON ; Campbell's Annals of Tryon Letter on Ohio Defeat, 6, note. See 
County, &c. also Mass. Rec's; and Minot, i. 251, 

3 Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 651-654; 252. 
VOL. II. 13 


chap, defeat the expedition, which was, in fact, already in progress 
J^^_ at the time supplies were refused. Major General Lyman, next 
1755. in command to Johnson, had advanced with a detachment of 
one thousand men to the portage, or carrying place, about sixty 
July 16. miles from Albany, near the head springs of the Sorel, and 
Aug. awaited the arrival of his superior at Fort Lyman, afterwards 
Fort Edward. 1 Johnson left Albany three days after the 
Aug. 8. court adjourned, with the train of artillery, and arrived at the 
Aug.i4. camp a week later, where a council of war was held, at which 
Aug.22. all the field officers of the army were present. 2 Towards the 
Aug. 25 last of the month, with the main body of the army, consisting 
of New England militia, chiefly from Connecticut and Massa- 
chusetts, 3 he moved fourteen miles farther north, and pitched 
Before his camp at the end of Lake George, which the French called 
' St. Sacrement. 4 Here, while his troops were reposing in indo- 
lence, admiring the beautiful and romantic scenery, or engaged 
on the Sabbath in the worship of God, he received intelligence 
that a party of French and Indians had been discovered at 
Ticonderoga, — which is situated on the isthmus between the 
north end of Lake George and the southern part of Lake 
. Champlain, — but that no works were there thrown up. The 
importance of securing this pass, which commanded the route 
to Crown Point through the lake, was so evident that Johnson 
Sept. l. proposed to sail thither ; and a letter was despatched to Shir- 
ley for the requisite bateaux. Pending their arrival an en- 
gagement occurred, which was greeted both in England and 
America as a signal victory. 5 

1 MS. Letter of E. Williams, of August 30, in ibid. 174. Johnson, in 
July 22, in Williams's MSS. i. 157; a letter da-ted August 15, 1755, from 
1 M. H. Coll. vii. 105 ; Minot,i. 251 j the Great Carrying Place, speaks of 
Parsons, Life of Pepperrell, 279. his arrival there, with his troops, num- 

2 E. Williams's letter, of August bering in all 2850 men. Mass. Ar- 
16, in which he says he arrived at chives. 

Fort Nicolson August 14 ; and letter 3 Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 652, 678 ; 

of August 23, from the Great Carry- Journal H. of Pv. for 1755, p. 75. 

ing Place, in which he speaks of the 4 Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 678, 680, 682, 

proceedings of the council. Williams's 683,684,689. 

MSS. L 171, 173. Also, letter of 5 Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 689. 


A French fleet, of twenty-two ships of the line, besides frig- chap 
ates and transports, had been sent from Brest early in the ^^ 
spring, in which six thousand marines, and eighty-five compa- 1755. 

May 6. 

nies of land troops, of the regiments of the Queen, of Artois, 
Burgundy, Languedoc, Guienne, and Beam, under the veteran 
Dieskau, a native of Germany and the favorite of Saxe, were 
embarked for Cape Breton and Canada. On the passage, 
eight companies of grenadiers were taken, with the Lys and 
Alcide men-of-war, the one arme en flute, and the other en 
guerre, who fell in with the English fleet off Cape Race, under Jun. 10 
Admiral Boscawen, despatched to the coast to watch the Apr. 2& 
French squadron. Subsequently, a thousand of the troops 
were landed at Louisburg ; and the remainder arrived at Que- Jim. 19 
bee, with De Yaudreuil, the governor general of Canada, and 
Dieskau, the commander of the forces. 1 Dieskau, whose motto 
was " Boldness wins," had intended, soon after his arrival, by 
the advice of Yaudreuil, to seize the fort at Oswego, whither 
Shirley had marched, and had proceeded to Montreal to make 
the necessary preparations ; but, apprised of Johnson's move- 
ments, he altered his plans, crossed Lake Champlain, landed at 
the South Bay, some sixteen miles from the English encamp- 

1 French Doc'ts in Mass. Archives, Roehefort, one of 80 guns, one of 74 
ix. 205-229; Trumbull MSS. i. 101, guns, three of 64 guns, one of 50 
in Lib. Mass. Hist. Soc. ; Hist, of the guns, and one of 32 guns : in all thir- 
AYar, 21-23 ; Letter to the People of ty-eight vessels. This fleet sailed May 
England, 19 et seq. ; Pouchot's Mems. 6, commanded by Macnamara, an offi- 
i. 18-28; James Grenville to his cer of Irish extraction ; but soon after 
brother, in Grenville Corresp. i. 136 ; nine of the vessels returned, and the 
Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 277 ; Hoc. Hist, rest, under M. Boif de la Mothe and 
N. Y. ii. 694; 1 M. H. Coll. viii. 113 ; M. de Salvert, continued on. Macna- 
Letters and Mems. relating to Cape mara sailed again in June. By the 
Breton, 304 et seq. Mortimer, Hist, middle of April the English had at 
Eng. i. 511 et seq., says that, by the Spithead a noble fleet, consisting of 
last of March, there were at Brest one ten ships of the line and six frigates, 
man-of-war of 80 guns, four of 74 having on board 6000 land forces, 
guns, six of 64 guns, one of 60 guns, This fleet sailed, under Admiral Bos- 
one of 50 guns, one of 46 guns, four cawen, on the 23d. The accounts in 
of 30 guns, and one of 24 guns ; at different authorities vary both as to 
Toulon ; one of 80 guns, five of 74 the number of vessels in the two fleets, 
guns, three of 64 guns, two of 32 the troops on board, and the date of 
guns, and one of 24 guns; and at 


chap, ment, and, making a circuit by the way of Wood Creek, 

^J^L g ame( l the rear of the English army, with a force of about two 
1755. thousand French and Indians. 

Johnson was early informed of the approach of the French 
by his scouts, who were ever abroad to anticipate an attack ; 
and, presuming from their movements that their first design 
was to surprise the troops at the Carrying Place, it was re- 
solved to detach a thousand English and two hundred Indians 
"to catch the enemy in their retreat." 1 The command of this 
detachment was intrusted to Ephraim Williams, a Massachu- 
setts colonel, who, in passing through Albany, had made a 

July 22. bequest of his estate by will to found a free school ; 2 and 
Israel Putnam, of Connecticut, had charge of a small company 
of the young men of his own neighborhood. 3 The army of 
Johnson had, some time before, been increased by the accession 
of a fine regiment from New Hampshire, of five hundred men, 
under John Stark, a lieutenant, afterwards conspicuous in the 
annals of the revolution; so that the encampment on Lake 
George, numbering four thousand men, was of ample strength 
to withstand the invaders. 4 

Sept. 8. About an hour after the departure of Williams, a heavy 
firing was heard — a signal that he had fallen in with the 
main body of the enemy, who were posted in ambush. The 
surprise was complete ; and the deadly fire so thinned the 
ranks of the little army that the detachment was compelled to 
retreat, with the loss of their commander, who fell at the first 
charge, and the gray-haired Hendrick, the chieftain of the Six 
Nations, famed for his clear voice and flashing eye. The re- 
treat was conducted by Nathan Whiting, of Connecticut. By 
the arrival of fresh troops, under Lieutenant Cole, the pursuers 
were checked ; and the fugitives once more reached the camp 
from which they had so recently and proudly departed. 

> Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 691. 3 Life of Putnam, 25. 

2 Holland's Hist. Western Mass. i. 4 Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 683 j 1 M. 
182 ; 1 M. H. ColL viii. 48. H. ColL vii. 113. 


Soon the troops under Dieskau J came in sight ; and those chap. 
who looked out at the edge of the woods which bordered the TLL 
opening in front, saw painted Indians approaching, and the 1755. 
bayonets of the French glittering among the foliage " like a 
row of icicles on a January morning." Within a hundred and 
fifty yards of the breastwork of fallen trees, which had been 
hastily thrown up for the protection of the camp, the brave 
baron halted ; and this halt proved his ruin. Immediately 
Johnson's artillery, under the direction of Captain Eyre, was 
brought to bear upon his columns ; and the regulars, finding 
themselves deserted by the Canadian militia and their savage 
allies, who had skulked to the swamps, took to trees, and main- 
tained for some time a scattering fire upon the flanks of the 
English with intermitting briskness. 2 With but a handful of 
his followers left, Dieskau retired. A party from the camp, 
jumping over the breastwork, eagerly followed ; and at a short 
distance the French general, thrice wounded, was seized as a 
prisoner. But one English officer was killed in this engage- 
ment — the gallant Titcomb, who had fought with such bravery 
at the siege of Louisburg, and whose name should be transmit- 
ted to posterity with honor. General Johnson was wounded 
at the outset, but the wound was not serious ; and for his ser- 
vices on this occasion, which were perhaps over-magnified, he 
received a gratuity of five thousand pounds, and the honors 

1 According to the French ac- October 1, 1755. See also Mortimer's 
counts, Doc'ts in Mass. Archives, ix. Hist. Eng. iii. 515, 516. 
241-253, the army of Dieskau con- 2 MS. letters of Clarke, Sept. 16, 
sisted in all of 3573 men, viz. : the Seth Pomeroy to his wife, Sept. 20, 
garrison at Fort Frederic, 150 ; a and Perez Marsh, Sept. 25, in Wil- 
corps d'observation, 400; the battel- liams's MSS. i. 174, 182, 184: Lett, 
ion of the queen, 1011 ; Canadians, on Defeat of French at Lake George, 
1412; and savages, 600. Only one p. 8 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 112. Pome- 
third of these troops are said to have roy says that, when the French first 
been with the baron when he attacked rushed towards the camp, they fired 
General Johnson. Montreuil, in ibid, impetuously upon the English, so that 
265-269, gives an account of the " the hailstones from heaven have not 
march of Dieskau and the engage- been much thicker than their bullets 
ment, in letters dated August 31 and came." But the fierceness of the first 

onset was soon checked. 


chap, of knighthood were conferred upon him by the king. 1 Yet 
^^ to Lyman was doubtless " chiefly to be ascribed the honor of 
1755. the victory/ 7 though his name makes but little display in the 
account transmitted to England. 2 

But one other project remains to be noticed — the expedi- 
tion against Nova Scotia, proposed by Massachusetts, but 
undertaken and conducted at the expense of the crown. 3 Two 
battalions were raised for this service. The command of the 
first was conferred on John Winslow, of Marshfield, great 
grandson of Edward Winslow, 4 who held a commission of 
major general in the militia, and whose personal influence and 
popularity were so great as to effect the raising of two thou- 
sand men in two months, to serve for a year if necessary. Of 
the second battalion Colonel Scott had the command ; and 
Lieutenant Colonel Monckton, of Nova Scotia, was designated 
by the king to take charge of the expedition. 5 
May 20. The troops from Massachusetts were embarked in May ; and 
May 26. towards the last of the month they arrived at Annapolis, 
June l. whence, the week after, in a fleet of forty-one vessels, they set 
out for Chiegnecto, early in the morning, and the same evening 
about sunset anchored five miles from Fort Lawrence. The 
next day the troops landed ; and the day after, at a council of 
June 3. war, it was resolved to push on and lay siege to Beau-Sejour. 
June 4. Captain Adams, of the first battalion, with sixty men, led the 
advance, followed by Colonel Monckton, with about' three 
hundred men. Colonel Scott, with his battalion, occupied the 

1 Pouchot's Mems. i. 48-54; Hist. MSS. i. 71 ; also, extracts from a let- 
of the War, 27-31 ; Doc. Hist. N. Y. ter of the lords of trade of July 5, in 
ii. 689-703 ; Hutchinson, hi. 35, 36 ; ibid. 72. 

1 M. H. Coll. vii. 104-109 ; Minot, i. 4 For his commission, dated Feb- 

250-254. ruary 10, 1755, see his MS. Journal, 

2 1M. H. Coll. vii. 110. fol. 3. _ 

3 Letter of T. Robinson, of June 5 Winslow's MS. Journal, 1-3 ; 
21, 1754, to Governor Shirley, appro v- Jour. H. of R. of Mass. l755-56 ; 
ing the plans detailed in his communi- 317; Smith's N. Y. ii. 219, 220; 
cations of April 19 and May 1, for driv- Letter on Ohio Defeat, 13 ; Stirling's 
ing the French from the Kennebec, Vindication of Shirley, 17, 18 ; Hutch- 
pursuant to an act passed by the as- inson, iii. 27, 28. 

sembly of Massachusetts, in Williams's 


next place ; and in the rear General Winslow marched, with chap 
the rest of the first battalion. The route lay over a marsh, J^^ 
where the dikes had been cut down ; so that the progress of 1755. 
the troops was slow and guarded. The bridge over the Mes- 
sagouche, the intervening river, had been destroyed ; and on 
its opposite bank the French had a block house, and had thrown 
up a breastwork, where four hundred men were stationed. An 
engagement ensued ; and in about a quarter of an hour the 
French set the block house and village on fire. Pushing on, 
notwithstanding the annoyance from the musketry of the ene- 
my, the provincial troops gained the top of the hill in about 
an hour, and halted for refreshment. From thence, continu- 
ing their march, they moved to within two miles of the fort, 
and, turning to the right from the main road, halted in the 
woods. A few days after, General Winslow, with three hun- June 8. 
dred men, advanced within six hundred yards of the fort. In 
a short time intrenchments were opened upon the rock border- J un. 12. 
ing on St. Omer's ; and in four days the enemy surrendered — Jun. 16. 
the garrison being allowed to march out with the honors of 
war, and to be transported to Louisburg, with their effects, at 
the expense of Great Britain, on condition of remaining neu- 
tral for the space of six months. This capitulation and the 
preceding skirmishes were attended with the loss of but three 
men from New England, none besides being mortally wounded. 
The fort at Gaspereaux, on Bay Yerte, surrendered on the 
same terms; and Captain Eons, with three frigates and aJun.ia 
sloop, sailed to the St. John's, for the reduction of the new 
fort erected by the French. These successes, at so early a 
stage of the war, diffused a general joy through the colonies, 
and were welcomed as omens of future good fortune. 1 

The French forts being subdued, but one question remained 

1 Winslow's Journal, fols. 72-106 ; ton, 318-323 ; Hist, of the War, 26, 

Bollan's letter of May 4, 1758, in MS. 27 ; Extract from Letter of Governor 

Letters and Papers, 1721-1760, fol. Lawrence to Sir Thomas Robinson, 

187, in Mass. Hist. Soc. Colls. ; Let- June 28, 1755, in Mortimer's Eng. 

lers and Mems. relative to Cape Bre- iii. 513. 


chap, to be decided : What shall be done with the Acadians, some 
^33^ thousands in number ? The situation of this people was pe- 
1755. euliarly distressing. They were the earliest European occu- 
pants of the country, and had dwelt in it now for over two 
hundred years. Frugal in their habits, and of a mild disposi- 
tion, their attention had been turned from hunting and fishing, 
the delight of their ancestors, to the cultivation of the soil : 
and by diligent effort they had reclaimed from the forest and 
the ocean the farms on which they dwelt. By the treaty of 
1713. Utrecht they had been brought under the dominion of Eng- 
land. But they still loved the language and the usages of 
their fathers, and the religion of their childhood was graven 
1713-53. upon their souls. Eor forty years they were neglected by the 
English ; and in that time they prospered, and their substance 
increased. The crops from their fields were exceedingly rich. 
Flocks and herds grazed in the meadows, or roamed over the 
hills ; domestic fowls abounded ; and the thickly clustered vil- 
lage of neat, thatched-roof cottages sheltered a frugal, happy 
people. The spinning-wheel and the loom were busily plied ; 
and, from morn to night, matrons and maidens, young men 
and their sires, toiled for the bread which they ate in peace. 
This gentle people, distinguished for their benevolence, were 
known as " the neutral French," because of the obligation to 
which they had subscribed. Happy in their seclusion, they 
conducted their affairs in the simplest manner. Each family 
provided for its own wants. No locks were needed for their 
doors, " no tax gatherer counted their folds, no magistrates 
dwelt in their hamlets." They were too inoffensive to require 
the interference of the arm of the law, and their disputes were 
amicably settled by their elders. The priest of the parish was 
their scribe and their judge. He framed their laws, and drew 
their wills ; and to him they looked for advice and direction. 
Poverty was rare ; early marriages were encouraged ; and 
fathers delighted in settling their children in a cottage of 


their own. Living in love, their lives glided on " like rivers chap. 
that water the woodlands, reflecting an image of heaven." 1 

Since the settlement of the English they had been grievously 1755. 
oppressed. Was their property demanded for the public ser- 
vice ? It must be yielded immediately, or " the next courier 
would bring an order for military execution upon the delin- 
quents." Did they delay in bringing firewood at the bidding of 
their masters ? " If they do not do it in proper time," was the 
harsh mandate of the governor, " the soldiers shall absolutely 
take their houses for fuel." 2 From such a spirit, which wit- 
nessed without compunction their humiliation, what could be 
expected but continued oppression ? 

Such being the circumstances of the unfortunate Acadians, it 
"will excite little surprise to be told that Lawrence, the lieuten- 
ant governor of the province, and his council, aided by Admi- 
rals Boscawen and Mostyn, and Belcher, the chief justice, a 
son of the former governor of Massachusetts, determined, in Aug.11. 
accordance with advices from England, procured at the instance 
of Governor Shirley, that the people should be driven from 
the homes they loved, and scattered as exiles over the whole 
breadth of the continent. The liberty of transmigration was 
refused. They were to be treated as captives ; and as captives 
were they to be sent out to live among the English. 3 

The execution of this sentence, so harsh and vindictive, was 
allotted to the New England forces. Gladly would their com- 
mander, himself distinguished for his courtesy and humanity, 
have escaped the unpleasant and painful duty ; but the rules 
of war are imperative, and, whatever his own feelings, Mr. 
Winslow was compelled to suppress them and obey. To per- 
suade the Acadians to a voluntary exile was seen to be 
impracticable ; artifice must therefore be resorted to, to kidnap 

1 Longfellow's Evangeline. 3 WinsloVs MS. Journal, fols. 159 

2 Winslow's MS. Journal, fols. 151 -163; Minot, i. 122; Haliburton, i. 
■154; Haliburton's N. S. i. 163. 168. 


chap, and entrap them. 1 A general proclamation ordered all the 

^J3^ males of the settlements, " both old and young men, as well as 

1755. all the lads of ten years of age/ 7 to assemble at the church at 

and Grand Pre on Friday, at three o'clock in the afternoon, then 

* and there to hear his majesty's orders communicated ; declaring 

that no excuse would be admitted on any pretence whatever, 

"on pain of forfeiting goods and chattels in default of real 

estate." 2 

Some, on the reception of this summons, fled to the forest, 
and lurked on its outskirts, with ominous forebodings of the 
Sept. 5. fate before them. Yet, on the day appointed, four hundred and 
eighteen unarmed men gathered in the temple, which had for 
some time been occupied by General Winslow as his head quar- 
ters, while without, their wives, with care-worn looks, awaited 
the issue of the strange conference. The doors were closed ; 
and from the lips of Winslow their sentence was slowly but 
firmly pronounced. " It is his majestyi's orders," — such were 
his words, — " and they are peremptory, that the whole French 
inhabitants of these districts be removed. Your lands and 
tenements, cattle of all kinds, and live stock of all sorts, are 
forfeited to the crown, with all your other effects, saving your 
money and household goods ; and you yourselves are to be 
removed from this province. I shall do every thing in my 
power that your goods be secured to you, and that you are not 
molested in carrying them off ; also, that whole families shall 
go in the same vessel, and that this removal be made as easy 
as his majesty's service will admit. And I hope that, in 
whatever part of the world you may fall, you may be faithful 
subjects, a peaceable and happy people. Meanwhile you are 
the king's prisoners, and will remain in security under the 

1 They were to be collected by possible, according to instructions. 

stratagem or force, as circumstances Winslow's MS. Journal, fol. 171. 

might require ; and no attention was " The sooner we strike the stroke the 

to be paid to remonstrances or memo- better," said Murray. Ibid. 172. 

rials from any desirous to stay, but 2 Winslow's MS. Journal, 174 ; 

every person was to be embarked, if Haliburton's N. S. i. 175, 176. 


inspection and direction of the troops I have the honor to chap. 
command." 1 J^^ 

Like a whirlwind in the autumn, which spreads desolation in 1755. 
its path, came this announcement to the imprisoned captives. 
At first there was unbroken silence, as in speechless amazement 
they gazed upon each other's countenances ; then a loud wail 
of anguish echoed through the aisles and arches of the building. 
It was, indeed, a cruel sentence • justifiable, perhaps, by the 
policy of war, but strangely at variance with the benevolent 
spirit of the gospel of Christ. Every heart ached in Grand 
Pre that night, and throughout the district of Minas as the 
intelligence reached them from the lips of the twenty who 
were permitted to go forth. 9 No " angelus " sounded softly at 
sunset. The " summer of all saints " lost its beauty. Old men 
looked sadly upon the scenes which had so often delighted 
them ; young men gloomily brooded over the future. Mothers 
clasped their little ones closer in their arms ; maidens shrank 
timidly from the embraces of their lovers. Well might they 
utter the complaint of Meliboeus : — 

" En, unquam patrios longo post tempore fines, 
Pauperis et tuguri congestum cespite culmen, 
Post aliquot, mea regna, videns mirabor aristas ? 
Impius hsec tarn culta novalia miles habebit ? 
Barbaras has segetes ? 
Ite meae, felix quondam pecus, ite capellae. 
Non ego vos posthac, viridi projectus in antro, 
Dumosa pendere procul de rape videbo ; 
Carmina nulla canam ; non, me pascente, capellae, 
Florentem cytisum, et salices carpetis amaras." 3 

At the appointed day, the inhabitants of Grand Pre met for 
the last time — in all one thousand nine hundred and twenty- 
three souls. 4 The prisoners in the church were drawn up six 

1 Winslow's MS. Journal, 178, 3 Virgil, Eclogue I. 

179; Minot,i. 224-226; Haliburton's 4 Winslow's MS. Journal, 197- 
N. S. i. 175, 176. 211, where is a list of the inhabit- 

2 Winslow's MS. Journal, 179, 180. ants. 


chap, deep ; and the young men, one hundred and forty-one in num- 
k- J^V_ ber, were ordered to march first on board the vessels. With 
1755. frenzied despair they refused to be separated from their parents 
and companions ; and at the point of the bayonet obedience 
was enforced. Women and children knelt by the way through 
which they passed, some singing the hymn of farewell, others 
weeping and praying for blessings on their heads. Next the 
fathers, one hundred and nine in number, were commanded to 
embark ; and eighty-nine obeyed. Then — most dreadful of 
all — mothers and little ones were told they must wait until 
fresh transports arrived. December came before they left ; 
but where should they find those from whom they had been 
separated ? 1 

A large number of the miserable Acadians in the different 
districts escaped. The rest, seven thousand in number, were 
scattered from New Hampshire to Georgia. In the land of 
strangers, with broken hearts, they were to drag out a weary 
and cheerless existence, saddened in spirit and bereft of hope. 
Never again were they to return to their homes. Never again 
were they to gaze upon the scenes which had delighted their 
infancy. Never again were they to see those who had been 
torn from them, until they met them in that land where tyranny 
can no more annoy, and where a more tolerant spirit reigns 
than on earth. 2 

1 Winslow's MS. Journal, 191-193. the south; but they live to us now 

2 About a thousand of these Aca- chiefly in history. Mrs. Williams, of 
dians arrived at Boston at the opening Connecticut, has written a touching 
of winter, among whom were several tale of their sufferings ; and Longfel- 
aged persons, who would have per- low's Evangeline is a beautiful tribute 
ished had not generous hearts wel- to the memory of this people, as hon- 
comed them to their homes. The pro- orable to his character as it is credita- 
vincial legislature did what it could to ble to the poetical genius of New Eng- 
alleviate their sufferings. They were land. Comp. Winslow's Journal, pas- 
provided for like other poor, only the sim; Hutchinson, iii. 38-42; Journal 
elderly were exempted from labor. H. of It. for 1755, 265, 285, 318,456; 
When they found there was no hope ibid, for 1756, pp. 65, 69, 119. In the 
of being restored to their homes, many Mass. Archives are two folio volumes 
went to Hispaniola, and died. Dis- of MSS. relating exclusively to the 
persed throughout the world, the poor French neutrals, besides a large num- 
Acadians became extinct. A few of ber of other MSS. scattered through 
their descendants, indeed, still live at other volumes. 


THE FRENCH WAR. 1756-1763. 

The capture of the French posts at the east, and the removal chap 
of the Acadians, with the defeat of Dieskau by General John- J^L 
son, were the decisive accomplishments of the campaign of 1755. 


1755. The defeat of Braddock, and the inefficient movements 
of Shirley, were the disastrous results. But the French were 
still masters of a large share of their old posts, and, by cease- 
less activity, were strengthening their garrisons and preparing 
for future hostilities. War, at this time, had not been formally 
declared by England or France ; but that event was daily 
expected, nor was it long delayed. 1 The surviving force em- 1756. 
ployed by the colonies in the expedition under General John- ay * 
son returned before winter, except six hundred men posted at 
Lake George, where a wooden fort, called Fort William Henry, 
was built, and at Fort Edward, near the Hudson. These, with 
the garrison of seven hundred at Oswego, where large maga- 
zines of stores and provisions had been lodged, were the whole 
strength of the English upon the western frontiers. 2 The 
French had a strong fort at Crown Point, with works at Ticon- 
deroga ; another fort at Cataraqui, near Lake Ontario, called 
Fort Frontenac ; and another at the Falls of Niagara, called 

1 War was declared by England in that the army under General Johnson 
May, and by France in June. Trum- directed against Crown Point, except 
bull MSS. i. 102 ; Hist, of the War, 600, or such further number as should 
44-52 ; Mortimer's England, iii. 531 ; be agreed upon, should be discharged ; 
Belsham, ii. 396; Trumbull's Connec- and that the rest of the troops should 
ticut, ii. 373. garrison Fort Edward and Fort Wil- 

2 At a council of war held at Alba- liam Henry. Mass. Archives, Let- 
ny, November 20, 1755, it was agreed ters, 1. 



chap. Fort Niagara. 1 Still farther west their posts extended in an 
J^[_ unbroken line to the banks of the Mississippi ; and from thence 
1756. to the Gulf of Mexico they held undisputed sway. The pros- 
pect of subduing an enemy whose advantages were so great, 
and who knew how to improve them, was certainly not flatter- 
ing ; nor did any officer of experience entertain the idea that 
they could be easily conquered, though magnificent plans of 
operation were draughted, and a degree of assurance was at- 
tempted to be kept up by those who knew that hitherto but 
little had been effected, and who could have but little encour- 
agement of success in the future. Johnson himself, though he 
professed the utmost confidence that " the ambitious and deep- 
laid schemes of the French " would not only be " frustrated, but 
receive a mortal wound," at the same time confessed that, " to 
obtain this desirable end, a great expense for perhaps some 
years will necessarily arise ; " but " the alternatives," he adds, 
" in my humble opinion, most glaringly deserve it, and the 
beneficial consequences will abundantly repay it." 2 Well 
1755. might the earthquakes, which this year shook the whole coun- 
Nov. l. try, the first shock of which, on the Festival of All Saints, 
destroyed one of the most flourishing cities of Europe, be re- 
garded by the superstitious as an " ominous " event. The age 
of signs and wonders had not ceased ; and many remembered 
Mat. 24: that the Saviour had predicted that " famines, and pestilences, 
and earthquakes in divers places," should be " the beginning 
of sorrows." 3 
Oct. 24. Governor Shirley left Oswego in October to return to Mas- 
Nov. 4. sachusetts. Soon after his arrival at Albany he received his 
commission as commander-in-chief ; 4 and, by his orders, a grand 

1 Stirling's Vindication, 13 ; Ro- zette for Nov. 24 ; Minot's Mass. i. 
gers's Journal, 10; Willard's Lett, in 261, 262; Mortimer's England, iii. 
1 M. H. Coll. vi. 40 ; Hutchinson, iii. 520 ; Lord Mahon's England, i. 305- 
42 ; Minot, i. 258. 307. 

2 Doc. Hist. N. Y. ii. 673. 4 Official notice of the appointment 

3 MS. Sermons, in the possession of Governor Shirley as commander- 
of the author; Prince's, Mayhew's, in-chief was made August 28, 1755. 
and Winthrop's Lectures ; Boston Ga- Letter of T. Robinson, in Trumbull 


congress of governors and field officers was convened at New chap. 
York, which continued in session two days. At this congress VIII< 
were present " his Excellency General Shirley, eommancler-in- 17,55. 

Dec 12 

chief of all his majesty's forces in North America ; his Excel- 
lency Sir Charles Hardy, knight, governor and commander-in- 
chief of the Province of New York ; the Hon. Horatio Sharpe, 
lieutenant governor and commander-in-chief of the Province of 
Maryland; the Hon. Kobert Hunter Morris, lieutenant gov- 
ernor and commander-in-chief of the Province of Pennsylvania ; 
the Hon. Thomas Fitch, governor and commander-in-chief of 
the Colony of Connecticut ; and of the field officers, Colonels 
Thomas Dunbar and Peter Schuyler, Majors Charles Craven 
and John Rutherford, and Sir John St. Clair, deputy quarter- 
master general." 1 

The conference was opened by Governor Shirley, who laid 
before the council the king's instructions to General Braddock. 
Shirley's plan of operations was characteristic of the man, and 
was framed on the gigantic scale which distinguished all his 
schemes. After remarking, as a preliminary, upon the position 
and character of the prominent posts, he added, " that the 
French settlements at the mouth of the Mississippi furnished 
these northern garrisons neither with provisions nor stores, 
being not only at two thousand miles' distance from any of 
them, but embarrassed with insuperable difficulties, by a labo- 
rious navigation against a rapid stream ; " and hence that, 
" could the French be dislodged from Frontenac, and the little 
fort at Toronto, and their entrance into Lake Ontario obstruct- 
ed, all their other forts and settlements on the Ohio and the 
western lakes were deprived of their support from Canada, 
and must ere Ions: be evacuated." 2 

MSS. i. 107. At the instance of of Governor Shirley, of Oct. 15, 1755, 

Hutchinson, an address was sent to in Mass. Archives; Stirling's Vindi- 

the governor from the legislature of cation, 54 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 127, 

Massachusetts, November 6, congrat- 131 ; Journal H. of R. of Mass. for 

ulating him upon his promotion. Jour- 1755, 2 13, 214 ; Smith's N. Y. ii. 224. 
nal H. of R. for 1755, 221, 222. 2 Stirling's Vindication, 55 5 1 M. 

1 Trumbull MSS. i. 112 ; MS. Lett. H. Coll. vii. 132. 


Impressed with the correctness of these views, and fired 
with the hope of retrieving past failures, he proposed that five 
1755. thousand men should be assembled early at Oswego, and that 
four thousand of them should be sent to attack Fort Frontenac, 
and La Gallette, upon the Iroquois. Upon the reduction of 
these places, an attempt was to be made upon the forts at Ni- 
agara, PresquTsle, Riviere aux Bceufs, Detroit, and Michili- 
mackinac ; and in the mean time three thousand provincials 
were to march from Will's Creek for the reduction of Fort Du 
Quesne. A body of six thousand troops was likewise to pro- 
ceed to Crown Point, build a fort, and launch vessels in Lake 
Champlain ; and, that the forces of Canada might be still fur- 
ther divided, two thousand men were to ravage the Kennebec, 
fall upon the settlements adjoining the Chaudiere. and proceed 
to its mouth, within three miles of Quebec. Thence, dividing 
into small parties along the banks of the St. Lawrence, they 
were to destroy the scattered settlements in their path, and 
spread desolation wherever they went. 

If the attempts upon Crown Point and the forts upon the 
lakes and the Ohio River were not simultaneously prosecuted, 
he observed, perilous, if not fatal, consequences might ensue ; 
and if, in particular, no attempt was made against Crown 
Point, which was the stronghold of the enemy, the whole force 
of Canada would march to oppose the English, which would 
defeat their design, and require so large a body of troops for 
the war as to render the transportation of supplies to Oswego 
impracticable. So numerous an army might also march against 
Albany as effectually to cut off the retreat of the provincials, 
or, at least, totally obstruct their supplies. On the other hand, 
should the whole strength of the army be destined for Crown 
Point, and the western operations be neglected, Oswego, the 
grand object of the French, would be in the utmost danger of 
falling into their hands. This irreparable loss would be at 
tended with the loss of the whole country to Albany, with 
that of the Six Nations, and the French would acquire an 


absolute dominion on the lakes and the whole southern chap. 
country. 1 J^L 

These plans, urged with his usual subtlety and eloquence. 1755. 
were, in the main, approved by the congress. The council 
advised that orders should be given for building immediately 
three or four vessels at Oswego ; they were of opinion that ten 
thousand men were necessary for the Crown Point expedition, 
and six thousand for that on Lake Ontario ; the attempt 
against Fort Du Quesne by the western governments, it was 
thought, would answer a good purpose, especially in securing 
the fidelity of the Indians ; and the feint against Quebec was 
approved, if it did not interfere with the other expeditions. 
The operations upon Lake Ontario, it was conceived, should 
begin with the attack on Frontenac ; and to accomplish all 
these purposes, an additional number of regular troops was 
adjudged to be necessary, " for effectually recovering and secur- 
ing his majesty's rights and dominions on the continent." 2 

It was the intention of Governor Shirley, and part of his 
plan formally stated at the time, to prosecute a winter's expe- 
dition against Ticonderoga ; but frost and snow, necessary for 
the transportation of the stores, failing to appear, the enterprise 
was abandoned ; and, leaving New York, he returned to Bos- 1756. 
ton, where he was received with public demonstrations of Janl30.' 
respect from the military and both branches of the legislature ; 
and a splendid banquet was provided for his entertainment, at 
the instance of his friends, which was made the more ostenta- 
tious from a desire to eclipse New York in its honors conferred 
upon General Johnson, between whom and Shirley a coolness 
had already sprung up. 3 1 

1 Journal of H. of R. for 1755-6, 3 Journal of H. of R. of Mass. for 
345, 462, 497, 498 ; Stirling's Vindi- 1756, 295, 298 ; Smith's N. Y. ii. 224 
cation, 55, 56 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 131- -226 ; Stirling's Vindication, 53 ; Ro- 
133 ; Parsons, Life of Pepperrell, 288. gers's Journal, 13 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vi. 

2 Trumbull MSS. i. 113; Stirling's 40, and vii. 134; Parsons, Life of 
Vindication, 56 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. Pepperrell, 288, 289. 

133, 134. 

VOL. II. 14 


Shortly after his arrival, the legislature of the province 
being in session, application was made by Governor Shirley for 
men and munitions to carry out the plans projected at Albany. 
The province pleaded poverty ; but the governor, in reply, 
urged that their furnishing a quota of men for the service would 
probably free them from the burden of future taxes, as it would 
remove the enemy, which rendered them necessary, and would 
be an inducement to the crown to remunerate them for what 
had been already expended. To obviate the objection of pov- 
erty, he offered to loan the government thirty thousand pounds 
sterling out of the moneys committed to him for the payment 
of the troops, but with the proviso that an act should be passed 
for levying a tax, in the two succeeding years, of an equal 
amount, as collateral security. 

The plea of poverty urged by the province was doubtless a 
political pretence ; for the credit of the government was good, 
and funds could have been easily procured to meet any exi- 
gency, had the disposition existed. The offer of Mr. Shirley 
was equally politic, and it answered his purpose ; for many of 
the assembly, glad to shift the responsibility from their shoul- 
ders to his, favored his proposal, especially as they were led to 
believe that the action of Parliament would indemnify them 
against actual loss. Heuce resolutions were passed " for rais- 
ing three thousand men, in order to remove the encroachments 
of the French from his majesty's territories at or near Crown 
Point, in humble confidence that his majesty will hereafter be 
graciously pleased to give orders for defraying the expense of 
this expedition, and for establishing such garrisons as may be 
needed in order to maintain the possession of the country." x 
At the same time it was intimated to his excellency, that it 
would encourage men to enlist in the service if the chief com- 

1 Letter of March 11, 1756, in Stirling's Vindication, 62-69; Wil- 

Mass. Archives, Letters, fol. 141 ; lard's Letter, in 1 M. H. Coll. vi. 40, 

Mass. Rec's ; Journal of H. of R. for and Bollan's Mem. in ibid. 47 ; Hutch- 

1755-56, 309, 311, 332, 335, 338; inson, iii. 45, 46; Minot, i. 267-273. 


mand was conferred upon a resident of the province • and this chap. 
intimation was the more pleasing to him, inasmuch as he could, J^L, 
without being accused of intentional disrespect, decline making 1756. 
the offer to General Johnson, whose views he was resolved to 
thwart, if possible. Accordingly, in February, he offered the Feb. 
command to Sir William Pepperrell, knowing his popularity 
with the people ; but, having by this means secured that gen- 
tleman's vote for the passage of his favorite measures, on the 
pretence that his advices from England compelled him to the 
change, he altered his mind, and conferred the appointment on 
General Winslow, an officer of high standing and distinguished Feb. 18 
abilities. 1 

Parliament, in the mean time, was not inattentive to the con- Feb. % 
dition of the colonies ; and, as a measure of temporary expe- 
diency, not of permanent policy, one hundred and fifteen 
thousand pounds were granted, and forwarded to America, as Aug.2& 
a reward for the services of the troops for the past year. Of 
this sum there were paid to Massachusetts fifty-four thousand 
pounds ; to Connecticut, twenty-six thousand ; and to New 
York, fifteen thousand ; the remaining twenty-four thousand 
being apportioned to the other colonies. 2 The next measure 
of the government wore a less favorable aspect. The plan of 
military dictatorship, which for nearly sixty years had been 1697 
insisted upon as indispensable to systematize the management 1756, 
of colonial affairs, and repress the insubordinate spirit which, 
it was alleged, existed in every province, was now revived and 
carried into effect. 3 Mr. Shirley, in his eagerness to forward 
his own interests, had so far disregarded the feelings of others 
as to have raised many enemies in different parts of the coun- 
try ; and the manner in which he had treated both civil and 

1 Winslow's MS. Journal for 1756, 2 Journal H. of R. for 1756, p. 74; 

fol. 1; Mass. Rec's ; Stirling's Vin- Trumbull MSS. i. 114; Mass. Arch, 

dication, 65, 70 ; Journal H. of R. Letters, fol. 182 ; Minot, i. 288 ; Ban- 

for 1755-56, 387, 423 ; Winslow's croft, iv. 227. 

Lett, in 1 M. H. Coll. vi. 34 ; Minot, 3 Doc. Hist. N. Y. ; Chalmers, Re- 

i. 265, 273 ; Parsons, Life of Pepper- volt, i. 269 ; Bancroft, iv. 227, 228. 
rell, 289. 


chap, military officers had led to complaints which reached the ears 
J^^_ of his employers in England. 1 His services in behalf of the 
1756. crown, it was intimated, had been greatly over-estimated, and* 
that he was lacking in efficiency in the prosecution of his 
schemes, and in the urbanity necessary to constitute a success- 
ful commander. No one, perhaps, on this side the Atlantic, 
expected to succeed him in the command, nor does any one 
appear to have been recommended for that purpose. Hence 
these complaints carried the more weight ; and, at the instance 
March, of Cumberland and Fox, Mr. Shirley was displaced, and the 
Earl of Loudoun, the friend of Halifax, and an earnest ad- 
vocate of the subordination of the colonies, was appointed 
governor of Virginia, and commander-in-chief of the army 
throughout the British continental provinces in America, with 
powers superior to and independent of the other provincial 
, governors. 2 

Nor did the government stop here ; for, during the session 

of 1756, the authority of Parliament over American affairs was 

signally extended. By different acts, approved by the king, 

•foreign Protestants might be employed as engineers and offi- 

1 In the "Williams MSS. i. 256, is self have so placed him, that I have 

a very severe letter from William no occasion nor inclination to dislodge 

Williams, dated Albany, September him. I wish his idolaters had seen 

13, 1756, reflecting upon the conduct their mistaken worship sooner; nor 

of Shirley, in which he calls him the do I wish any of them so bad a hell 

" Massachusetts Dagon." "Many are as Mr. S. must bear in his mind." 

the conjectures," says he, " what will Without doubt some allowance is to 

become of him. Some are apprehen- be made here for the warmth of the 

sive he is in such situation that he will writer ; yet this is but a specimen of 

fall upon his face, and only a stump numerous letters I have seen, all more 

will be left. Others, to prevent him or less severe, and proving that the 

that honor, are for serving him by a feeling against the commander-in- 

halter, so that he shall not have an chief was not confined to a few per- 

opportunity of ending his feats and sons, nor to those only who could be 

life in so honorable a manner. This suspected of sinister motives in their 

piece of paper would not contain the opposition. 

heads of the sentences pronounced 2 Trumbull MSS. i. 114-116, Let- 

against him by all orders and degrees ters of Fox of March 13, 1756, and 

of men. In short, your Dagon is of Halifax of May 11 ; Doc. Hist. N- 

looked upon as meaner and viler than Y. ii. 710 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 134, 135, 

the mean prince of the power of the 145 ; Parsons, Life of Pepperrell, 295, 
air. Men of superior genius to my- 


cers to enlist a regiment of aliens ; indented servants might be chap. 
accepted as soldiers, and their masters compensated by the sev- J^^ 
eral assemblies ; volunteers were freed from the process of law 1756. 
for petty debts ; the naval code of England was extended to 
all persons employed in the king's service " upon the lakes or 
rivers in North America ; " and each northern province was 
forbidden to negotiate with the Indians — the management 
of Indian affairs being intrusted exclusively to Sir William 
Johnson, with no subordination but to Loudoun. It was 
useless for Massachusetts to object to either of these meas- 
ures. Whether acceptable or not, they were to be carried 
into effect ; and an army was raised without their approval ; 
taxes were levied without their consent ; and martial law was 
extended to all the settlements. Yet such was the posture of 
public affairs, and such was the necessity for overlooking minor 
evils whose burden was not pressingly felt, that the provincial 
government peacefully submitted to these innovations, and con- 
tented itself simply with expressing its dissatisfaction in terms 
of the utmost courtesy and propriety. 1 

Before the arrival of the intelligence of the removal of Mr. 
Shirley, that gentleman had left Boston for Albany, and soon Apr. 21. 
after a council: of war was held to consider the measures which May 25. 
were necessary to be taken. The preparations for the western 
expedition were somewhat extensive. The naval force upon 
the lake consisted of two sloops of ten carriage guns each, and 
two row galleys of ten swivels each ; and three other vessels, 
a " snow " of eighteen carriage guns and twenty swivels, a brig- 
antine of fourteen carriage guns and twelve swivels, and a 

1 Acts, &c, 29 Geo. II. chaps, v. was sent over, viz. : that the provinces 

xxxv. xxxvii. ; Trumbull MSS. i. 98 ; should not only bear the expenses of 

Journal H. of R. for 1756, 82 ; Bol- the troops they raised for their own 

lan's Letters ; Chalmers, Revolt, ii. defence, but should likewise supply at 

281 ; Minot, i. 275-280 ; Bancroft, their expense the regular troops sent 

iv. 231, 232. The proposals for the for their protection with provisions, 

conduct of the war, when Lord Lou- Loudoun's Communication of Feb. 1, 

doun took the command, are sai<} to 1757, in Williams's MSS. ii. 6. 
have been the same as when Braddock 


chap, sloop of six carriage guns, were building. Besides these, there 
were to be two hundred and fifty whale boats upon the lake. 
each capable of containing sixteen men. The land forces, then 
at Oswego and the way stations, or on their march thither, 
were his own and Pepper r ell's regiments, with the regiment 
raised and supported by New Jersey, the four independent 
companies of New York, and the four provincial companies of 
North Carolina — in all about two thousand men. Of these, 
one hundred and fifty were to be stationed at the magazine of 
stores and provisions at the Canajoharie Falls, about thirty-five 
miles from Schenectady ; and a like number at the German 
Flats, to secure another magazine, guard the portage, and con- 
vey the provisions through Wood Creek ; at the Oneida car- 
rying place two hundred men were to be left ; and at the falls 
near Oswego a fort was to be built and a garrison of forty 
men established ; while four companies, of sixty privates each, 
were to be raised to scout along the route, and harass the 
French settlements between Frontenac and Montreal. For 
the northern expedition, the New England colonies had voted 
to raise nearly eighty-eight hundred men, including the officers 
and garrisons at Forts Edward and William Henry ; and to 
these such Indians as could be mustered were to be joined, to 
harass the enemy upon Lake Champlain, and procure intelli- 
gence of their motions in Canada. 1 

Such were the movements on foot, and such were the plans 

Jun. 26. of General Shirley at the time he was displaced. While at 

jun. 29. New York he received despatches from Mr. Fox, the secretary 

Marfi3 of state, signifying his majesty's pleasure that he should return 

and 31. ^ England, as " his presence might be necessary to consult 

upon measures for the conduct of the war.' 7 Lord Loudoun was 

expected to leave soon, to take the command of his majesty's 

forces ; an j. in the mean time that charge was devolved on 

Jun. 15. General Abercrombie, who arrived with Otway's and the 

1 Stirling's Vindication, 13, 41, 57, H..Coll. yi. 34, and vii. 146-149; 
75, 76, 79, 90, 94; Winslow, in 1 M. Letter on the Ohio Defeat, 14. 


Highland regiments of nine hundred men. 1 But the season chap 
was fast wearing away, and nothing had been done. Lord J^^ 
Loudoun did not leave England until the middle of May, nor 1756. 

. May 17. 

did the cannon for Lake Ontario arrive until a later date. Aug. ' 
Well might Sharpe, the lieutenant governor of Maryland, ex- 
claim, " "We shall have good reason to sing Te Deum, at the 
conclusion of this campaign, if matters are not then in a worse 
situation than they are at present." 2 

Matters were in a worse situation ; for the disasters and 
reverses of the campaign of 1756 were greater, if possible, than 
those of the previous year. At the outset, an incident oc- 
curred which came near threatening serious consequences. 
General Abercrombie, soon after taking his command, asked 
General Winslow, who was just leaving Albany with about July 15 
seven thousand men, " What effect the junction of his majesty's 
forces would have with the provincials, if ordered to join them 
in their intended expedition ? H To which, after consultation July 22. 
with his officers, he replied, that " he should be extremely 
pleased if such a junction could be made, and that he was 
under the immediate command of the commander-in-chief ; but 
apprehended that if, by this junction, the provincial officers 
were to lose their command, as the men were raised immediately 
under them by the several governments, it would cause almost 
an universal discontent, if not desertion." After the arrival 
of Lord Loudoun, 3 a similar question was asked, and the same Aug. 4 
answer was returned. The provincial officers unanimously 
signified their willingness to "submit to him in all dutiful 
obedience, and their readiness and willingness to act in con- 
junction with his majesty's troops, and put themselves under 

1 Journal H. of It. for 1756, 106 ; sede Shirley. Mortimer's England, 

Stirling's Vindication, 58 ; Rogers's iii. 529. 

Journal, 22, 23 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. 2 Quoted in Bancroft, iv. 235. 
150 ; Smith's N. Y. ii. 234 ; Hutch- 3 The Earl of Loudoun arrived at 

inson, iii. 47 ; Minot, i. 275. Aber- Albany July 23. Mortimer's Hist, 

crombie was despatched from Eng- England, iii 529 ; Smith's N. Y. ii. 

land in the beginning of March, with 235. 
two regiments, with orders to super- 


chap, his command as his majesty's commander-in-chief of all his 

J^L, forces in North America ; but as the troops, raised by the sev- 
1756. eral colonies and provinces in New England, had been raised 
this year on particular terms, and had proceeded to act thus 
far under that form, they humbly begged it as a favor of his 
lordship to let those troops act separate, as far as was consist- 
ent with his majesty's service." With this reply his excellency 
seemed satisfied, the point was not pressed further, and the 
separate operation of the troops was permitted. 1 

July 12. Meanwhile intelligence reached Albany of the threatening 
aspect of affairs at Oswego. Colonel John Bradstreet had 
thrown into the fort provisions for five or six months, and a 
great quantity of stores ; and, hastening eastward for addi- 

Juiy 3. tional troops, skirmishing by the way, he brought word that 
the French army, numbering twelve hundred men, was in 
motion to attack the place. Colonel Webb, with the forty- 
fourth regiment, was ordered to its relief; but nothing was 

Jun. 26. done. Shirley himself had urged the necessity of this measure 
some days before, but the mind of Abercrornbie was otherwise, 
occupied. The movements of Loudoun were equally dilatory j 
and Oswego fell. 2 

All through the season the French had been active ; and 
neither the inclemency of the weather nor the apprehension of 
danger availed to deter them from prosecuting their designs. 

Mai. 17. At spring dawn, while the sides of the mountains were yet clad 
with ice, De Lery, at the head of three hundred men, set out 
for Montreal, penetrated to Fort Bull at the Oneida portage, 
took it after a short struggle, and returned with thirty prison- 

1 Winslow's MS. Journal, ii. 349 hided to in the text was not the only 

et seq., and hi. 13-36 ; 1 M. H. one which prevailed, for there was a 

Coll. vi. 35-37 ; Letters of J. Dwight, dispute among the provincial officers 

of July 26, 1756, and Aug. 16, in themselves relative to their rank. 

Williams's MSS. i. 237, 241 ; 1 M. Letter of Thos. Williams, of July 27, 

H. Coll. vii. 157 ; Letter on Ohio De- in Williams's MSS. i. 238. 
feat, 7-9 ; Stirling's Vindication, 96, 2 Stirling's Vindication, 99 ; Hist. 

97 ; Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 305 ; Mi- of the War, 107-109; 1 M. H. Coll 

not, i. 283, 284. The difficulty al- vii. 156, 157. 


ers. 1 The Marquis de Montcalm had by this time reached chap. 
Quebec, with De Levis, Bourlamaque, and other officers of his J^^ 
staff. Hurrying thence to Fort Carillon, at Ticonderoga, his 1706. 
practised eye ran over the defences, orders for strengthening 
them were issued, and he was ready for Oswego. Collecting 
at Montreal three regiments from Quebec, he set out for Fort 
Frontenac ; and, posting five hundred men, under De Yilliers, 
beneath the shelter of a dense thicket, near the mouth of Sandy 
Creek, whence he could intercept supplies for Oswego, he em- 
barked for Niagara, and the same evening anchored in Sack- Aug. 5. 
ett's Harbor. A week later Oswego was invested ; and the Aug. 12. 
next day the gallant Mercer was killed by a cannon ball, and Aug.13 
a breach was made in the walls. In two days the place was Aug.15. 
taken ; the regiments of Shirley and Pepperrell capitulated ; 
the forts were razed, and Oswego was a solitude. The joy of 
the Canadians vented itself in extravagant ecstasies ; the mis- 
sionaries planted a cross, on which was inscribed, " This is the 
banner of victory ; " and by its side rose a pillar, with the arms 
of France, and the inscription, " Bring lilies with full hands.' 7 2 
" Oswego is lost — lost, perhaps, forever ! " was the despair- 
ing exclamation of the English. " Would to God this was all, 
and we had nothing more to apprehend ! The French can 
now, with the utmost facility, secure the inland country, and 
confine us to the very brinks of the ocean ; a free communica- 
tion is opened between Canada and Louisiana, and all our 
intercourse with the Indians totally rescinded." 3 This heavy 
disaster filled the army with consternation, and every plan of 
offensive operations was immediately relinquished. The orders 
to General Winslow to march to Ticonderoga were counter- Aug.20. 

1 Pouchot's Mems. i. 67 ; Stirling's iii. ; Minot, i. 285 ; Smith's N. Y. ii. 
Vindication, 76 ; Warburton's Con- 239, 240 ; Bancroft, iv. 237-239. 
quest of Canada, ii. 43. 3 Winslow's MS. Journal, iii. 41, 

2 Journal H. of R. for 1756, 157, 42, 55, 56, 85, 86 ; Rogers's Journal, 
164, 172 ; Winslow's MS. Journal, 33, 34, 37 ; Winslow, in 1 M. H. Coll. 
iii. 142-148; Pouchot's Mems. i. 70, vii. 37 ; Johnson MSS. in Doc. Hist. 
81; Stirling's Vindication, 110-116; N. Y. ii. 732; Minot, i. 287; Par- 
1 M. H. Coll. vii. 158; Hutchinson, sons, Life of Pepperrell, 290, 291. 


chap, manded, and lie was directed to fortify his own camp at Fort 
J^J^ "William Henry ; General Lyman was to remain at Fort Ed- 
1756. ward • General Webb, with fourteen hundred men, was posted 
at the Great Carrying Place ; and Sir William Johnson, with 
five hundred men, was posted at the German Flats. The 
expedition to the Kennebec resulted in a scouting party, which 
did as much harm as good ; the attempt against Fort Du 
Quesne was abandoned ; the troops went into winter quar- 
ters, and not a blow was struck which was seriously felt. 
When the Massachusetts forces returned to their homes, no 
provisions had been made by the- government for their pay. 
Hence three commissioners were appointed to apply to Lord 
Loudoun for relief ; but, though that officer is said to have 
" generously supported and enforced our solicitations with his 
interest," he declined making any disbursement on his own 
account, as the soldiers were enlisted " antecedent to his com- 
mand ; " and the burden, as usual, fell upon the province. 1 
Dec. 4. Before the close of this year a change took place in the 
English ministry, and a change of momentous importance to 
the colonies. The party which, for over forty years, had mis- 
managed affairs, and brought disgrace upon the banner of St. 
George, went out of power ; and William Pitt, known as " the 
great commoner," and afterwards as Earl of Chatham, — the 
early, devoted, and consistent friend of America, " distinguished 
by his regard for religion, honor, and his country," — assumed 
the reins which had fallen from the hands of the Duke of New- 
castle. From this time forward the affairs of the war assumed 
a new aspect ; a " cheerful bloom of spirit and joy revived in 
the countenance of every individual ; " and the cry was echoed, 

1 Mass. Rec's ; Journal H. of R. yet he gave no encouragement to ex- 

for 1756-57, 232 ; Rogers's Journal, pect the advance of moneys, on the 

38, 51; Hutchinson, iii. 50. The plea that all he had received was ne- 

Journal H. of R. p. 232, says Lord cessary for the support of the regular 

L. treated the commissioners with troops ; and should he draw upon this, 

great condescension, and they were it must greatly prejudice his majesty's 

assured he was zealously disposed to service, 
promote the interests of the colonies; 


* Canada — Canada must be destroyed ! Delenda est Cartha- 
go, or we are undone ! We have wasted our strength in lop- 
ping the branches ; the axe must be laid to the root of the 1756. 
tree." 1 

A military council was held in Alexandria in 1755, another 
in New York in 1756 ; and this year it was proposed that one 
should be held in the town of Boston. For this purpose Lord 
Loudoun visited the Bay Province, where he was received by 1757. 

J all. A J . 

Governors Lawrence, of Nova Scotia, Fitch, of Connecticut, 
and Hopkins, of Rhode Island. 2 In the absence of Governor 
Shirley, who had embarked for England in the preceding fall, 1756. 
the chief command in Massachusetts devolved upon Spencer 
Phips, the lieutenant governor ; but he declining to act in the 
present emergency, a commission was appointed to represent 
the province, consisting of Thomas Hutchinson, William Brat- 
tle, Thomas Hubbard, John Otis, and Samuel Welles. The 
levies called for from New England amounted to four thousand 
men ; and of these Massachusetts was to raise eighteen hundred, 
Connecticut fourteen hundred, Rhode Island four hundred and 
fifty, and New Hampshire three hundred and fifty — all of 
whom were to be mustered before the last of March, ready for Mar.2'5 
service. 3 

The death of Lieutenant Governor Phips occurred while April 4. 
this plan for raising and forwarding the forces was in execu- 
tion ; and the Council, upon whom the government devolved, 
with Sir William Pepperrell as their president, proceeded in 
the necessary public affairs, and, having enlisted, forwarded the 
quota of the province, under Colonel Joseph Frye, to the ap- 
pointed rendezvous. 4 Before the next session of the court, May. 

1 Review of Pitt's Administration, Journal, iii. 425; Hutchinson, iii. 50, 
10, 14, 16 ; 1 M. H. Coll. vii. ; Trum- 51; Minot,ii. 11-15. See also the Proc- 
bull MSS. i. 121 ; Hist, of the War, lamation of Phips, Feb. 21, 1757, the 
110 ; Bancroft, iv. 247. Letter of Andrew Oliver, March 18, 

2 Loudoun's Speech of January 29 1757, and the Letter of Phips, March 
is given in the Williams MSS. ii. 5. 23, in Williams's MSS. ii. 9, 11, 13. 

3 Journal H. of K. for 1756-7, 271- 4 Proclamation of Council, April 5, 
273, 280 ; Lord Loudoun's Speech of 1757 ; Hutchinson, iii. 52, 53 ; Minot, 
January 29, 1757, in Winslow's MS. ii. 15, 16. 


chap, letters were received from Mr. Bollan, the son-in-law of Shir 

J^^ ley and the agent of the province in England, informing the 

Council that his majesty had been pleased to appoint Thomas 
Mar.12. Pownall, Esq., governor, in the room of Mr. Shirley, and that 

he was to embark for New England, by the way of Halifax, 

the day after the date of his letters. 1 

Mr. Pownall's first visit to America was made in 1754, as 

private secretary to Sir Danvers Osborne, the governor of New 

York, where he remained until after the adjournment of the 

1754. congress at Albany, when he visited Boston, was admitted to 


the confidence of Governor Shirley, and sent to New York to 
solicit the concurrence of that colony in the plan against Crown 
Point, which the legislature of Massachusetts had resolved to 
prosecute. 2 Penetrating the designs of Shirley, whom he ex- 
celled in political sagacity, Mr. Pownall joined his opposers, and 
having acquainted himself with the geography of the country 
y 5 ^- and its resources, he returned to England to press his own plans 
upon the notice of the ministry. When Lord Loudoun came 

1756. to America, Mr. Pownall accompanied him, but remained less 
than two months, when he hastened to England to solicit a 
reenforcement of troops for the prosecution of the war. Here 

1757. he received his appointment as governor of Massachusetts, 
embarked in the fleet which brought the forces with Lord 
Howe to Halifax, and thence proceeded to Boston, where he 

Aug. 3. was formally received, and his commission was publicly read. 3 
Nearly every governor in the thirteen British colonies at 
this date was a devout supporter of the prerogative ; nor could 
any one have been appointed to office who was not a royalist. 

1 Letter of Andrew Oliver, of May pleasure to hear him make the plain- 
11, 1757, in Williams's MSS. ii. 23; est and strongest declarations of his 
Letter of Bollan, in MS. Letters and coming to his government with a de- 
Papers, 1721-1760, fol. 186; Hutch- termined purpose to promote to the 
inson, iii. 53 ; Minot, ii. 19. utmost of his power the prosperity of 

2 Smith's N. Y. ii. 206. the province, together with the high- 

3 Bollan, in his letter of March 12, est regard for its liberties and charter 
says, " I this day took leave of him," privileges." 

i. e., Pownall, " after having had the 


Sence not the best men were selected to govern the people, chap 
but generally the most subservient. It would be ungenerous J^_ 
to insinuate that any one of these gentlemen was destitute of 1757. 
principle ; for men of far purer virtue and of far higher attain- 
ments have been often seduced by the flatteries of royalty, and 
the blandishments of place and power. This should be remem- 
bered in forming an estimate of the character of the provincial 
governors ; and, judged by this standard, Mr. Pownall will not 
suffer in comparison with his predecessors. Gifted with tal- 
ents of a superior order, few were better acquainted with the 
American people than himself; and his striking predictions 
of the effects of ministerial measures were, in more than one 
instance, remarkably verified. It should also be spoken to his 
credit, that, in his published writings, especially in his " Speech 
in the House of Commons," 1 his " Rights of the Colonies stated 
and defended," and his " Administration of the British Colo- 
nies," he sought to avert the evils of the revolution when pend- 
ing ; though he was not the advocate of the independence of 
the colonies, but of their constitutional subordination to the 
Parliament of Great Britain. 2 

Long before the arrival of the new governor, important 
events had occurred at the westward. The French, during 
the winter of 1756-57, sent out scouting parties for the annoy- 
ance of the English ; and the English rangers at Fort William 
Henry performed gallant exploits. The brave Rogers, accom- j an . 15 
panied by Stark and others, seventy-four in all, officers includ- 
ed, marched from Carillon. On the way, they met with sledges Jan. 21 
sent by the French to Crown Point. The rangers attacked 
them, but were intercepted by a party of two hundred and fifty 
French and Indians, and in the night retreated, with the loss 
of fourteen who had fallen, and six who were missing. The 
survivors were applauded, and Stark was promoted. 3 

At length Montcalm decided upon a more formidable at- 

1 Published in 1769. not, ii. 18, 19 ; Grahame, ii. 306, 307. 

* Comp. Hutchinson, iii. 56 ; Mi- 3 Rogers's Journal, 38-49. 


chap, tempt ; and a detachment of fifteen hundred French and Indians 

^^_ was sent, under Yaudreuil andDe Longueuil,to attack Fort 

1757. William Henry. At midnight they noiselessly approached the 

Mar. 19. * 

fortress ; but the vigilant sentries discovered them in time, an 

alarm was sounded, and, by a brisk fire of cannon and musket- 

Mar.20. ly, they were repulsed. The next day they invested the place, 

Mar. 21. and the day after summoned the commandant, Major Eyres, 

1756. who had relieved General Winslow, to surrender. He refused. 


The works were then assailed a fourth, and even a fifth time ; 
but, repulsed in every attack, the enemy could only burn the 
vessels of the English, and their storehouses and huts. Strength- 
ening Ticonderoga and Crown Point with two battalions, and 
sending Captain Pouchot to Niagara, where he had been 
posted most of the time for the year past, 1 Montcalm returned 
to Montreal ; and shortly after, Colonel Parker, who had been 
ordered, at the head of four hundred English, to attack the 
advanced guard near Ticonderoga, was led into an ambuscade, 
and nearly half his men were captured or slain. 2 

The plan of campaign proposed by Lord Loudoun, and ap- 
proved by the English ministry and the colonial governors, was 
limited to the defence of the frontiers and the capture of Lou- 
isburg. Preparations for the latter expedition had been rapidly 

1757. pushed in England ; and seven regiments of infantry, and a 
detachment of artillery commanded by Major General Hopson, 
were assembled at Cork to await the arrival of a powerful 
fleet of fourteen line-of-battle ships, which were to bear them to 
America. This armament, under Admiral Holborne, was to 

May 8. proceed on its voyage, and, on reaching Halifax, was to be 
joined by Lord Loudoun with all the forces he .could collect. 

Jun. 19. In June, Lord Loudoun left New York, with six thousand men, 
in the fleet of Sir Charles Hardy, consisting of four ships of 

jun. 29. war and seventy transports ; ten days after he reached Hali- 

Juiy 9. fax ; early in July, the whole armament was assembled ; and 

1 Pouchot's Mems. i. 88-90. 38 ; Warburton's Conquest of Cana- 

2 .Review of Pitt's Administration, da, ii. 58, 59 ; Bancroft, iv. 252. 


nineteen ships of the line and frigates, with innumerable smaller chap. 
vessels, and an army of thirteen battalions comprising ten thou- J^^L 
sand men, were mustered at the disposal of the British leaders. 1757. 
But the pusillanimous Loudoun, " whom a child might outwit, 
or terrify with a popgun," instead of pushing forward imme- 
diately to the attack, wasted his time in " making sham fights 
and planting cabbages/ 7 until the French fleet had been reen- 
forced by a number of ships of the line, when, deeming it use- 
less to proceed, he abandoned the expedition, and returned to Aug.3i. 
New York. 1 

The relinquishment of the enterprise against Crown Point 
was a severe disappointment to the people of the New England 
States, who had set their hearts upon its successful prosecution ; 
and the result of the campaign of the previous year vindicated 
the wisdom of their policy, and rebuked the imbecility of the 
British commander. It was quite common with the British offi- 
cers to decry the colonial forces as " inexperienced wood rangers, 
who had never seen regular service, and who were wholly unac- 
quainted with the discipline of military life." Hence, vaunting 
their own superiority, they could brook no advice from the 
provincial officers, but followed their own judgment, and relied 
for success on the experience acquired upon the battle fields 
of Europe. 

Pending the progress of the expedition to Louisburg, Colonel 
Webb, with his army of five or six thousand men, had been 
left to cope with the vigilant Montcalm. The latter seized the 

1 Letter of James Gray, dated Hal- Walpole's George H. ii. 231; Lord 
ifax, July 16, 1757, and of Andrew Mahon's Hist. England, iv. 168; Mor- 
Oliver of July 14, in Williams's MSS. timer's England, iii. 567 ; Hutchinson, 
ii. 28, 29; Conduct of Lord Loudoun iii. 61, 62; Minot, ii. 23, 24; War- 
impartially reviewed, 2d ed. Lond. burton's Conquest of Canada, ii. 59- 
1760, pp. 6-10, 20, 25-27 ; Hist. 62 ; Parsons, Life of Pepperrell, 298. 
of the War, 132-134 ; Grenville Cor- Indecision was the ruling fault of 
resp. i. 200-202 ; Hopkins's Defence Loudoun's character. " He is like 
of the Halifax Libel, Boston, 1765, p. St. George upon the signposts," said 
4 ; Review of Pitt's Administration, a Philadelphian to Dr. Eranklin, " al- 
18, 22, 36, 37 ; Letts, and Mems. rel- ways on horseback, but never ad- 
atrve to Cape Breton, 331-336 ; Wal- vances." 
pole to Sir H. Mann, Feb. 13, 1757 j 


chap, favorable moment presented by the withdrawal of Lord Lou- 

J^^ doun, and concentrated a force of from six to eight thousand 

1757. French and Indians at Montreal, who were to . ascend Lake 

Auet 2 

' George, land at its southern extremity, and besiege Fort Wil- 
liam Henry. Webb might have saved the place had he 
marched promptly to its relief; but, instead of this, he con- 
tented himself with sending a letter to Colonel Monro, the 
commandant, exaggerating the numbers of the French, and 
advising him to capitulate. 1 The latter refused to surrender, 
and declared he would defend his post " to the last extremity." 

Aug. 9. Nor did he yield until the eve of the Festival of St. Lawrence, 
when half his guns were burst, and his ammunition was ex- 
pended. The Indians, with their usual ferocity, fell upon his 
troops after they were disarmed ; and in the slaughter which 
ensued six hundred dispersed among the woods and fled to 
Fort Edward, whither they were followed by their surviving 
comrades, one after another. Governor Pownall was informed 

July 31. by express of these movements of the French ; and appointing 
Sir William Pepperrell lieutenant general over all the militia 

Aug. 8. in the province, he was hastened to Springfield to forward sup- 
plies and collect a magazine of provisions and stores. Soon 
after his arrival he learned the fate of the fortress ; and though 
the regiments of Worthington, Williams, Ruggles, and Chan- 
dler, from the counties of Hampshire and Worcester, had 
marched to the relief of Monro, and others followed, they were 
stopped by General Webb, whose timidity was strikingly man- 
ifested throughout the affair, and who was subsequently cen- 
sured severely for his cowardice. 2 

1 Mortimer, Hist. England, iii. 567, tion, he neglected collecting the mili- 

says, General Webb beheld the prep- tia in time, and the fortress fell." 

aration of Montcalm " with an indif- 2 Mass. Rec's ; Order of Aug. 5, 

ference and security bordering on in- 1757, " for all and every one of his 

fatuation. ' It is creditably reported majestie's well affected subjects, able 

that he had private intelligence of all to bear arms, to repair to Fort Ed- 

the doings and motions of the French ward, on the Hudson, to serve with 

general ; yet, either despising his General Webb for the relief of Fort 

strength or discrediting the informa- William Henry, which still stands out 


Thus the English had been driven from the basin of the chap. 
Ohio, and Montcalm had routed them from the basin of the J^^_ 
St. Lawrence. The frontiers were in a defenceless condition, 1757. 
exposed to the ravages of a triumphant foe ; and New York 
and Massachusetts trembled for their own safety. The provin- 
cial troops alone had achieved signal successes ; not a laurel 
had been won by the British commanders. The opinion began 
to prevail that, so long as the war was thus conducted, the 
French would continue to be victorious ; and more than one 
was ready to echo the impassioned wish of John Adams : " 
that we had nothing to do with Great Britain forever! " 1 

Yet no disloyal wish was openly expressed ; nor was it until 
the people had been goaded to the point of desperation, that 
they gave bold utterance to the thoughts which inspired them. 
Hence when, in the fall of this year, recruiting parties reached Nov. 15. 
Boston from Nova Scotia, and Lord Loudoun, as he had for- 
merly done at New York and Philadelphia, 2 demanded that 
they should be quartered upon the people, threatening, in case 
of refusal, to march his regiments from New York and Con- 
necticut to enforce obedience, the assembly passed a special act, 
similar to the act of Parliament for quartering troops in pub- 
lic houses ; and a message, expressing the sense of the people 
of the constitutional authority of Parliament, was draughted, 1708. 
which contains these words : " The authority of all acts of 
Parliament which concern the colonies, and extend to them, is 

fighting against a large and numerous ard's Register, v. 328 ; Bancroft, iv. 
body of the enemy ; " Letter of Worth- 240, 241. In the summer session of 
ington, of Aug. 6 ; Order of Pownall the General Court, the governor rec- 
to Israel Williams, of Aug. 6 ; Second ommended the passage of an act " to 
Letter of Pownall, of Aug. 7, &c, in empower and require the civil magis- 
Williams's MSS. ii. 31-33; Letter of trate to take up and assign quarters 
N. Whiting, of Aug. 23, giving an ac- for such of the king's troops as should 
count of the taking of the fort, in ibid, come into the province, under such 
ii. 42 ; Review of Pitt's Administra- regulations that the troops might be 
tion, 38; Pouchot's Mems. i. 101- well accommodated, and the province 
107 ; Walpole to Sir H. Mann, Oct. be as little burdened as possible ; " 
12, 1757; Hutchinson, iii. 58-61; but the court declined complying with 
Minot, ii. 21-23; Grahame, ii. the recommendation. Mass. Rec's; 

1 Smith's N. Y. ii. 245-249. Hutchinson, iii. 63. 

8 Smith's N. Y. ii. 241, 242 ; Haz- 

VOL. II. 15 


chap, ever acknowledged in all the courts of law, and made the rule 
^^J^ of all judicial proceedings in the province. There is not a 
1757. member of the General Court, and we know of no inhabitant 
within the bounds of the government, that ever questioned this 
authority. To prevent any ill consequences which may result 
from an opinion of our holding such principles, we now utterly 
disavow them, as we should readily have done at any time past 
if there had been occasion for it." * 
April 5. Pitt, who was compelled to resign his office in April, was re- 
Jun. 29. appointed in the following June, and, upon his accession, exert- 
ed himself diligently to retrieve the fortunes of England and to 
humble France. 2 But he labored under great difficulties, owing 
to the absurd management adopted by his predecessors. Offi- 
cers had been sent to America to take charge of the forces of 
England, not because of their fitness, but because their rank 
entitled them to precedence. " We are undone," said Chester- 
Jun. 29. field, " both at home and abroad — at home, by our increasing 
expenses ; abroad, by our ill luck and incapacity. The French 
are masters to do what they please in America." 3 But Pitt 
did not despair. " I am sure," said he to the Duke of Devon- 
shire, — "I am sure I can save this country, and no one else 
July., can." 4 And he did save it. It was midsummer before the 
new ministry was thoroughly organized ; then it was too late 

1 Mass.Rec's; Jour. House Reps. ; 2 History of the War, 114-117: 
Hutchinson, iii. 65, 66 ; Gordon's Am. Grenville Corresp. i. 195, 196; Chat- 
Rev, i. 96 ; Minot, ii. 24-30 ; Chal- ham Corresp. i. 236 ; Lord Mahon's 
mers, Revolt, ii. 307, 308. Lord Lou- Hist. Eng. i. 338, 344. " From this 
doun was dissatisfied with this act, and period," says the editor of the Chat- 
would not allow that the General ham Correspondence, " commenced 
Court was authorized to take such a the brilliant era justly called Mr. Pitt's 
step, as in time of war the rules and administration ; " " the greatest and 
customs of war must govern ; but the most glorious, perhaps," adds Lord 
court, in reply, declared their opinion Mahon, " that England had ever yet 
that the act of Parliament did not ex- known." 

tend to the plantations, and that the 3 Taylor's Corresp. of Earl of Chat- 
rules and customs of war were not the ham, i. 238, note; Lord Mahonv's 
rules which the civil magistrate was to Hist. Eng. i. 345. 
govern himself by, but that a law of 4 Lord Orford's Memoirs, ii. 271; 
the province was necessary for his jus- Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. i. 299 ; N. 
tification. Am. Rev. for Oct. 1842. 


to accomplish any thing that year. Hence the reverses of chap. 
1757 must be charged to the old ministry. Lord George VIIL 
Sackville attempted to apologize for Loudoun ; but Pitt, with 1757. 
keenest scalpel, ripped up his rotten arguments, and exposed 
to view the festering corruption which his client's mismanage- 
ment had bred. " Nothing has been done," said he ; " nothing 
attempted. We have lost all the waters ; we have not a boat 
on the lakes. Every door is open to France." 1 

The work of reform was instantly commenced ; and Loudoun, 
who had been at Hartford, planning schemes which he was F ^ 5 |* 
incompetent to effect, was recalled. 2 Massachusetts had pre- 1757. 
viously proposed to the New England assemblies a meeting of 
commissioners to agree upon measures of mutual defence ; but 
New Hampshire and Rhode Island refused to respond to the 
call. Connecticut alone seconded the proposal, and sent agents 
to Boston, where a plan was agreed upon, and New Hampshire 
and Rhode Island were invited to accede ; but the whole affair 
dropped by the neglect of the assemblies to act upon the 
report. 3 The attempt of Lord Loudoun was equally unsuc- 
cessful ; and hastening to Boston, at his instance the governor, 
in his speech to the General Court, recommended that provis- 
ions should be made " for a suitable body of forces to cooper- 
ate in aid and assistance to his majesty's troops at the east- 
ward." This request gave rise to debate. The number of 
men solicited was twenty-two hundred ; but the assembly hesi- 
tated to vote the supply. " How long are the men to continue 
in service?" it was asked. "What officers are they to be 
placed under ? Where is the command to be ? How are they 
to be paid, armed, and victualled ? What is their destination ? 
What will be the whole force when they shall have joined it?" 
The general was displeased with these queries, and would 

1 Bancroft, iv. 291. in the Trumbull MSS. i. 127. 

2 A letter from Pitt, announcing s Mass. Rec's ; Hutchinson, iii. 67 ; 
his recall and the appointment of Ab- Minot, ii. 33. 

ercrombie in his stead, may be seen 


chap, doubtless have publicly manifested his displeasure, had not an 
J^_ express from New York brought intelligence that he was re- 
1757. called. The very next morning he left the town, in high anger, 
to return to New York, and shortly after embarked for Eng- 
land, to advise a magisterial exercise of British authority, and 
to vote in Parliament for enforcing American taxation by fire 
and sword. 
Dec Six months after assuming the reins, Pitt succeeded in ob- 
taining the orders of the king that every provincial officer, of 
no higher rank than colonel, should have equal command with 
the British, according to the date of their commissions. 1 He 
had thoroughly acquainted himself with the posture of affairs 
in America, and knew that this measure was not only just, but 
politic. And the result proved the correctness of his views. 
The same letters which informed the government that Lord 
Loudoun had been superseded recommended, in the strongest 
terms, an exertion on the part of the province to enlist fresh 
troops, and gave encouragement that a proper compensation 
would be made by Parliament. These forces, it was expected, 
would be employed in the reduction of Canada ; and at once 
the House voted to raise seven thousand men, to be formed 
into regiments under provincial officers approved by the cap- 
tain general, and to continue in session until the first of 
November, unless dismissed sooner. 2 Similar letters were sent 
to the other colonies, and with a like success ; for, before the 
May season ended, twenty thousand provincials were called into ser- 
vice. The contributions from different parts were exceedingly 
unequal — the New England colonies, as usual, excelling the 
rest. Nearly one third of the effective men of Massachusetts 
were enrolled. 

France, in the mean time, though thus far successful, trem- 
bled for the future safety of Canada. Famine stared the 
people in the face, who were cut off from receiving supplies 

1 Lord Orford's Memoirs, ii. 261 j 2 Mass. Rec's; Hutchinson, iii. 69 
Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. ii. 363. Minot, ii. 36, 37 j Bancroft, iv. 291. 


from abroad. " I shudder," said Montcalm, " when I think of chap. 
provisions. The famine is very great." " For all our success," J^J^ 
he afterwards wrote, " New France needs peace, or sooner or 1758. 
later it must fall ; such are the numbers of the English, such Apr. 10.' 
the difficulty of our receiving supplies." l 

Three expeditions were planned by the British ministry, the 
execution of which was intrusted to experienced officers, select- 
ed for their coolness, intrepidity, and judgment. The first, 
under Jeffrey Amherst and James Wolfe, was to join the fleet 
under Boscawen, and besiege Louisburg. The second, under 
Joseph Forbes, was to scour the Ohio valley. And the third, 
under Abercrombie and Lord Howe, was to proceed against 
Ticonderoga and Crown Point. 

Towards the last of May, Amherst, after a long passage, May 28. 
reached Halifax. Twenty-two ships of the line and fifteen 
frigates, with one hundred and twenty smaller vessels, com- 
posed the fleet under Boscawen ; and fourteen battalions of 
infantry and engineers, in all twelve thousand men, formed the 
army of Amherst. Wolfe, who while a lad had fought at Det- 
tingen and Fontenoy, and who had won laurels at Laffeldt 
when just of age, panted for fresh honors on the new scene of 
action ; and Cook, afterwards celebrated as the circumnaviga- 
tor of the globe, served in this expedition. In five days the June 2. 
armament arrived off Cape Breton. Wind and fog delayed June 8. 
the landing for six days more. Four days later the French Jun. 12. 
withdrew from their outposts, and the lighthouse battery was 
surprised. At the end of six weeks Louisburg was in ruins, July 26. 
and the fortress surrendered. More than five thousand pris- 
oners were taken ; eleven ships of war were seized or de- 
stroyed ; two hundred and forty pieces of ordnance, fifteen 
thousand stand of arms, and a vast amount of ammunition, pro- 
visions, and military stores fell into the hands of the victors ; 
and eleven stand of colors were laid at the feet of George II., 

1 Pouchot's Mems. i. 130, 131 j Bancroft, iv. 294. 


chap, and afterwards deposited with great solemnity in the Cathedral 

J^^ of St. Paul's. A few hovels mark the site of the Dunkirk of 
1758. America. 1 

Tun. 30. The expedition under Forbes was equally successful. Twelve 
hundred and fifty of Montgomery's Highlanders from South 
Carolina, three hundred and fifty Royal Americans, twenty- 
seven hundred men from Pennsylvania, sixteen hundred from 
Virginia, and about three hundred from Maryland, — in all, 
between six and seven thousand men, — placed under Colonel 

Nov. 5. Washington, comprised his army. It was late in the season 
before the troops reached Loyal Hanna, afterwards Fort Ligo- 
nia ; and then Forbes, fast sinking into the grave, determined 
to advance no farther. But Washington, unwilling to aban- 
don the enterprise, was impatient to proceed ; and, obtaining 
consent, with his brigade of provincials he promptly set for- 
ward. As he drew near Fort Du Quesne, the disheartened 
garrison, about five hundred in number, set the fort on fire, 
and by the light of the flames descended the Ohio. Before the 

Ndv.25. month closed Washington planted his flag on the deserted 
ruins ; and, in honor of the great statesman of England, the 
place was named Pittsburg. 2 

The third expedition was a failure. The troops from New 
England and the other northern colonies were detailed for its 


1 Narr. in French Doc'ts, Mass. Hist. Eng. ii. 365 and note; Chal- 
Archives, ix. 1-25; Grenville Cor- mers, Revolt, ii. 291 ; Sparks's "VVash- 
resp. i. 240-243, 254-256, 265 ; Wal- ington, ii. 271-327 ; Sargent's Brad- 
pole's Mem. of George II. iii. 134 ; dock's Expedition, 270-274 ; AVar- 
Hist. of the War, 152, 153 ; Letters and burton's Conquest of Canada, ii. 103- 
Mems. relative to Cape Breton, 342 105. Mortimer, Hist. Eng. iii. 606, 
et seq. ; Review of Pitt's Administra- says the expedition under Forbes left 
tion, 47-49 ; Knox's Histor. Jour. i. Philadelphia June 13, and advanced 
144 ; Boston Gazette for 1758 ; Mor- to Ray's Town, 90 miles from Fort 
timer, Hist. Eng. iii. 603, 604 ; Mi- Du Quesne, whence he sent forward 
not, ii. 38; Grahame, ii. ; Warbur- Bouquet, with 2000 men, to Loyal 
ton's Conquest of Canada, ii. 74-80. Hanna, 50 miles farther. The latter 

2 Grenville Corresp. i. 273-275, detached 800 men, under Major 
289; Pouchot's Mems. i. 170-177; Grant, to reconnoitre, who were re- 
Review of Pitt's Administration, 51 ; pulsed; upon which Forbes advanced, 
Olden Time, ii. 284 ; Public Adverti- and the enemy retreated, &c 

ser of Jan. 20, 1759 ; Lord Mahon's 


prosecution, and were ordered to take the field early in May ; chap. 
but, owing to the slowness with which the muster proceeded, J^_ 
it was the middle of June before any movements were made 1758. 
towards the scene of action. Massachusetts had agreed to juS* 
enlist seven thousand men for the war. Connecticut, rivalling 
her zeal, voted to raise five thousand. New Hampshire, a 
thinly-settled province, could furnish but nine hundred ; but 
she sent from her hills a captain who was a host in himself — 
the gallant Stark. At length nine thousand provincials, from 
New England, New York, and New Jersey, assembled on the 
banks of Lake George. Over six thousand regulars were Jun. 28. 
already on the spot, making, in all, an army of fifteen thousand 
men. 1 Early in July the cannon and stores arrived ; and the July 5. 
whole force, in upwards of a thousand boats, embarked for 
Ticonderoga. The spectacle was gorgeous to behold ; the 
armament stretching far down the lake, and moving on, with 
flashing oars and glittering weapons, to strains of music which 
rung shrilly from crags and rocks, or died away in mellowed 
strains among the distant mountains. As day closed in, a land- 
ing was effected at Sabbath Day Point ; and an hour before 
midnight, reembarking, the troops once more moved down the 
lake, until they reached the point which still preserves the 
name of Lord Howe, where they disembarked. Seven thousand July 6 
men, in four columns, began the march through the adjacent 
wood, with Eogers and his men in advance as scouts. Soon 
they were bewildered ; and, falling in with De Trepezee, at 
the head of three hundred men, who had likewise lost his way, 
a skirmish ensued, in which Lord Howe, the soul of the expe- 
dition, was the first to fall, expiring immediately. Massachu- 
setts voted a monument to his memory, and the English nation 
mourned his loss. 2 

1 Mortimer, Hist. Eng. iii. 605, Bute to Pitt, Aug. 20, 1758, in Chat- 
says Abererombie's army consisted ham Corresp. i. 335 ; Mass. Kec's ; 
of 7000 regulars and 10,000 provin- Hutchinson, iii. 7 1 ; Minot, ii. 39. 
cials. This monument was placed in West- 

2 Grenville Corresp. i. 261, 262 ; minster Abbey, the resting-place of 
"Review of Pitt's Administration, 50 j the worthies of England. 


chap. The next morning, Abercrombie, a victim to " the extremes! 

J^^_ fright and consternation/ 7 drew back to the landing-place ; but 

1758. the gallant Bradstreet, ever active, pushed forward with a 

uy ' strong detachment, the British general reluctantly followed, 

and that night the army encamped a mile and a half from the 

July 8. enemy. On the following day, at an early hour, Clark, the 
chief engineer, was sent to reconnoitre ; his report was favor- 
able, and it was resolved to proceed. Stark, of New Hamp- 
shire, and Rogers, the ranger, saw finished works where their 
comrades saw only an incomplete breastwork ; but the orders 
were given, and the attack began. The result was fatal. 
Montcalm, at first irresolute, saw the mistake of his assailants, 
and was prepared to meet them. As the English drew near, 
pushing forward in hot haste to open the action, a murderous 
fire poured in upon them, which mowed down officers and men 
by hundreds. Abercrombie, intimidated, withdrew to a place 
of safety. In vain did the intrepid Highlanders charge for 
three hours, without confusion or faltering, hewing with their 
broadswords a passage among the branches, and striving to 
retrieve the fortunes of the day. Two thousand were killed or 
wounded in the battle ; the survivors were panic-struck, and 
rushed hastily to the boats ; nor did they pause in their retreat 
until again far out on the bosom of Lake George. 1 The reduc- 

Juiy 25 tion of Fort Frontenac by Bradstreet, which shortly followed, 
was but a partial atonement for the failure of Abercrombie. 
His expedition was abortive ; the situation of the troops was 
embarrassing in the extreme ; and well might the government 
gloomily ask, What will the next year bring forth ? 2 

Three expeditions were planned for that year, centring upon 
Quebec, the " palladium of Canada," itself the citadel of the 
French dominions. The first was to proceed through the River 

1 Letter of Oliver Partridge, of 266 ; Warburton's Conquest of Cana- 

July 12, 1758, in Williams's MSS. ii. da, ii. 84-97. 

77; Pouchot's Mems. i. 134-159; 2 Letter of William Williams, of 

Rogers's Journal, 111-120 ; Hutchin- Sept. 8, in Williams's MSS. ii. 85. • 
son, iii. 70-74 ; Smith's N. Y. ii. 265, 


St. Lawrence ; the second was to cross Lake Champlain ; the chap. 
third was to attempt the reduction of Niagara, cross Lake J^_ 
Ontario, embark on the St. Lawrence, and proceed to Montreal. 1759. 
In the arrangements for this campaign, not esteeming, like 
many ministers, the " Army List " as an unerring guide, Pitt 
disregarded seniority of rank, and conferred appointments 
upon the ablest men. 1 Stanwix, after whom Fort Stanwix was 
named, a daring, intrepid, and resolute officer, was to occupy 
the posts from Pittsburg to Lake Erie ; Prideaux, whose name 
is preserved in Prideaux's Landing, was to reduce Fort Niag- 
ara, in conjunction with Johnson ; Amherst, now commander- 
in-chief, at the head of twelve thousand men, was to advance 
to Lake Champlain ; and the gallant Saunders, a " pattern of 
most sturdy bravery, united with the most unaffected modesty," 
was to support the attack on Quebec ; while Wolfe, " the im- 
mortal," was to command the army in the River St. Lawrence. 
All these movements were esteemed of great consequence, and, 
if judiciously conducted, it was thought could scarcely fail of 
success. 2 France saw her danger, and despaired of preserving 
Canada. Montcalm had informed Belle Isle that, without 
unexpected good fortune, Canada must be taken this year or 
the next. The country was in an impoverished condition, 
and its energies were exhausted. With a population of less 
than fourscore thousand, only seven thousand of whom were fit 
for service, and the eight French battalions numbering but 
thirty-two hundred men, — what were these to the fifty thou- 
sand of England and her colonies ? Besides, famine still 
raged ; the fields were hardly cultivated ; and old men and 
women, and even little children, were compelled to engage in 
tilling the soil, and reaping the scanty harvest upon which 
they were to depend ; for supplies were cut off by the vigilance 

1 Letter of Pitt, of Dec. 9, 1758, in as imprudent, (see Smollett's Hist. 
Trumbull MSS. i. 137 ; Lord Mahon's Eng. b. iii. c. xi. § 13 ;) " but," says 
Hist. Eng. ii. 378. Lord Mahon, (Hist. Eng. ii. 379,) 

2 Military critics, indeed, have cen- " let it never be forgotten how much 
lured the plan of the prime minister easier it is to cavil than to act." 


chap, of the English. By the fall of Louisburg and the reduction 

J^^ of Acadia, the high road of the St. Lawrence lay open to the 
1759. British ; and the capture of Fort Du Quesne had given them 
the command of the valley of the Ohio. Hence the Canadian 
French were isolated from all aid, and confined within the lim- 
its of the country they occupied. 1 

The policy of England in making liberal appropriations for 
the conduct of the war was an encouragement to the colonies 
to continue their enlistments. Nearly seven thousand men were 
raised by Massachusetts ; Connecticut sent five thousand into 
the field ; and the other northern colonies put forth their best 
exertions for strengthening the army. It has been estimated 
that, in all, nearly twenty-five thousand men were furnished by 
the colonies, and that England furnished twenty-five thousand 
more. 9 The expense of the war to Massachusetts alone, for 
1758, was over a hundred and fifty thousand pounds ; 3 and the 
burden upon the other colonies was proportionally great. The 
exertions of the colonies, therefore, under these circumstances, 
evince their loyalty. The colonies to the south, though equally 
interested, had done less for carrying on the war. The insti- 
tution of slavery crippled their energies, and rendered it dan- 
gerous to enlist many whites. 4 

The brigade of Prideaux was the first to engage actively. 

July l. At the opening of July, he embarked on Lake Ontario, with 
two battalions from New York, a battalion of Royal Ameri- 
cans, and two British regiments, with a detachment of artillery, 
and the Indians under Sir William Johnson. Pouchot was the 
commandant at Fort Niagara, and the place was speedily in- 

Juiy 15. vested. In the midst of the siege Prideaux was killed by the 
bursting of a cohorn ; the command devolved upon Sir William 

July 25. Johnson ; and ten days after the garrison capitulated. This 

1 Pouchot's Mems. i. 178 et seq. ; 3 Mass. Rec's ; Minot, ii. 49. 
Walpole's George II. 394; Warbur- 4 Trumbull's Connecticut, ii. 371; 
ton's Conquest of Canada, ii. 108. Bancroft, iv. 224. 

2 Trumbull MSS. i. 142. 


victory was so decisive that the officers and troops sent by chap. 
Stanwix from Pittsburg took possession of the French posts as J^^ 
far as Erie without resistance ; and the English were masters 1759. 
of Niagara River and of Lake Erie. Colonel Gage, who was 
sent to succeed Prideaux, was intrusted to take the fort at La 
Gallette ; but so many difficulties attended the attempt that it 
was laid aside, and no assistance was afforded to the army at 
Quebec from that quarter. 1 

In the mean time General Amherst left New York for Apr. 28, 
Albany, and, upon his arrival, busied himself in preparations May 3. 
for transporting his troops to Lake George. Tedious delays 
attended this movement; but at length, towards the last of Jun.21. 
June, he reached the lake, and immediately traced out the 
ground for a fort. Four weeks later all was in readiness ; his July 21 
army, numbering eleven thousand men, embarked upon the 
waters, and the next day landed near the site of Abercrombie's 
former encampment. 

Conscious of his inability to sustain a protracted siege, Bour- 
lamarque, the commandant at Ticonderoga, silently abandoned 
the fort, leaving every gun loaded and pointed, several mines July 23, 
charged for the destruction of the defences, and a lighted fire 
communicating with the magazine. Two days after, in the July 26. 
night, an awful explosion rent the air ; and, from under the 
cloud of smoke and the shower of embers, the flames of the 
breastworks flashed upon the sky, while at intervals, " from the 
mass of fire, the yellow flash of the bursting guns and the ex- 
ploding mines varied the tints of the light that fell far and 
near upon the lake and the forest." 2 

Five days later Crown Point was abandoned ; and the Aug. 1. 
French retreated to intrench themselves at Isle-aux-Noix, with Aug.i6 
three thousand five hundred men and one hundred cannon. 

1 Pouchot's Mems. ii. 15-131; 293 ; Smith's N. Y. ii. 275. 
Hist, of the War, 190-192 ; Review 2 Pouchot's Mems. ii. 13, 14 ; Ro- 
of Pitt's Administration, 107 ; Hutch- gers's Journal, 138-142. 
inson, hi. 77 ; Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 


chap. The position they had taken gave them the command of the 
^J^, entrance to the Richelieu River — the most vulnerable, and at 
1759. the same time the most vital, part of Canada. Amherst, in- 
stead of instantly proceeding to attack this post, contented 
himself with his present advantages ; and all August, and the 
month of September, and ten days of October passed before 
he embarked. Then messages from Quebec arrived, which 
caused him to turn back, having done nothing but occupy and 
repair deserted forts. 1 

The fleet under Sir Charles Saunders, and the army under 
Feb. Wolfe, left England in February, and arrived before Quebec 
Jun.26. the latter part of June. The army of Wolfe, landed on the 
Isle of Orleans, consisted of eight regiments, two battalions of 
Royal Americans, three companies of rangers, artillery, and a 
brigade of engineers — in all, about eight thousand men. The 
fleet under Saunders comprised twenty-two ships of the line, 
and as many frigates and armed vessels. A noble spectacle this 
armament presented, as the ships of war, with sails furled and 
pennons streaming, lay at anchor with the numerous transports, 
and as the white tents, in which the troops were lodged, stretched 
across the island. But far more imposing, to the eye of Wolfe, 
was the appearance of the fortress he was about to besiege, 
with its frowning bastions and its array of batteries bristling 
with guns. What though a storm burst over his head as he 
gazed upon that scene, and the teeming rain fell like a veil 
between him and the shore? What though the lightning 
hissed through the air, and transports and boats were dashed 
frightfully together ? What though the enemy launched fire 
ships, to light up with lurid glare the bosom of the waters, for 
the destruction of the fleet ? The gallant commander was not 

1 Pouchot's Mems. ii. 14. The would admire ; it is in America, and 

occurrences of this campaign, slight as nobody regards it." Lord Orford's 

they were, called forth the warmest Memoirs, ii. 398 ; Lord Mahon's Eng. 

eulogiums from Pitt. " If it was in ii. 381. 

Vigetius," cried he, "all the world 


one of those who "fret at trifles, and quarrel with their chap 
toothpicks." 1 The storm could not quench his courage ; the J^^_ 
lightning flash but stimulated his zeal. The fire ships were 1759. 
repulsed ; and, after the excitement of the hour abated, the 
" All is well " of the British seamen greeted his ears like music 
from home. 

The arrangements for the siege were rapidly pushed ; but 
the obstacles to be encountered were many and various. Point 
Levi was soon occupied ; and from this post heavy ordnance Jun. so 
played upon the city with ruinous effect. Strong intrenchments 
were likewise thrown up on the westernmost point of the 
Island of Orleans ; and the safety of the fleet in the basin was 
assured. A few days later "Wolfe encamped upon the eastern July 9. 
bank of the Montmorenci, whose beautiful fall is second in 
interest only to Niagara. From the batteries at these places 
an incessant fire of guns and mortars was poured upon the 
city and upon the French lines to the westward. The lower 
town was much damaged ; and a fire broke out in the upper July m 
town where a shell had fallen. 

July and August passed thus away. At length, early in 
September, Wolfe himself discovered the cove which bears his Sept. 9 
name, where the bending promontories form a basin, over 
which the hill rises precipitously. A path, so narrow that two 
men could hardly walk in it abreast, led to its top. Here he 
resolved to surprise the city. On the twelfth of the month Sep. 12 
he issued his last orders, and by one o'clock on the morning 
of the thirteenth every thing was in readiness. Silently and 
swiftly the boats dropped down the stream, favored by the 
darkness and by a flowing tide. As they moved on, the 
young general, whose mind was full, repeated the lines from 
Gray's Elegy, prophetic of the fate to which he was hasten- 

1 Wolfe to his mother, Nov. 6, 1751, quoted in Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. 
ii. 377. 


" The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 

Await alike the inexorable hour — 

The path of glory leads but to the grave." 

Sept. 13. In a short time the boats landed, and the ascent commenced. 
When morning broke, the army of Wolfe stood upon the 
Plains of Abraham, ready for battle. Montcalm was bewil- 
dered when he learned of their presence ; but at once he 
resolved to give them battle. Before midday the battle com- 
menced ; before nightfall it was over. Wolfe and Montcalm 
were both mortally wounded ; the former expired the same 
day, the latter on the day following. Quebec was taken, and 
the key of Canada was in the hands of the English. When 
the tidings reached Boston, they were received with unusual 
demonstrations of joy. Bonfires blazed from every hill ; every 
pulpit applauded Wolfe's bravery ; every paper scattered the 
news ; legislatures vied with each other in congratulatory re- 
4 solves. In England, the nation triumphed at the victory its 
general had achieved ; the nation mourned his early decease. 
France was in double mourning — for the loss of her general, 
and for the loss of her possessions. 1 

1760. The attempt of De Levi to regain Quebec was unsuccessful. 

ay ' " The smiles of fortune were turned to frowns." France was 

not destined to be again mistress of that fortress ; and its 

capture resulted in the downfall of her dominions in the west. 

Bept. 9. Amherst closed the war by the reduction of Montreal ; and 
the Marquis de Vaudreuil signed the capitulation which sepa- 
rated Canada from France forever. Thus the French war was 
principally ended so far as America was concerned. Peace 
was not declared until 1763 ; but in the north hostilities had 
ceased nearly three years before. 

1 Pouchot's Mems. ii. 131-150; of the War, 171-189; Mortimer's 

Grenville Corresp. i. passim ; Chatham Eng. iii. 655-663 ; Grahame, ii. ; Lord 

Corresp. i. 425 et seq. ; Review of Mahon's Eng. ii. 381-390 ; Warbur- 

Pitt's Administration, 93-106 ; Hist, ton's Conquest of Canada, ii. 171-222. 


The cost of the war to England was enormous — amounting, chap. 
in all, to seventy millions sterling. The cost to the colonies J^5^_ 
was proportionally great ; and Massachusetts lavished her 1759. 
treasure and strength for the conquest of Canada. The effect 
of that conquest upon the destinies of the colonies will appear 
hereafter. It was the preparatio libertatis — the stepping-stone 
to the revolution ; and officers were trained in all parts of the 
country to take charge of the armies of the thirteen United 
Colonies, enrolled under Washington as commander-in-chief. 



England lost her colonies by the mismanagement of her 
ministers. It can hardly be supposed that the bulk of the 
nation was hostile to America, for the ties of relationship be- 
tween the countries were too strong to admit of such feelings. 
Natives of England were frequently passing from the old world 
to the new ; and many descendants of the original planters 
returned to the mother country and to the homes of their 
ancestors. To visit England was to go home ; and when those 
who had been born on these shores crossed the Atlantic, and 
landed at London, or Bristol, or Plymouth, they did not feel 
that they had landed among strangers, but among those of 
their own nation, who spoke the same language and owned the 
same kindred. There could not be, on either side of the 
ocean, any extensive alienation of feeling. True, differences 
of religious opinion have been fruitful of discord in the world ; 
and divisions have been produced by such differences in fami- 
lies and among nations. But the Americans were Protestants 
as well as the English ; and if a majority of the former were 
dissenters from the ritual of the Anglican church, the doctrines 
professed by that church were generally received. It can 
never be believed that the English, as a people, were unfriendly 
to America ; and if alienation of feeling led to a rupture be- 
tween the colonies and the crown, there must have been a 
cause for that alienation, for which rulers were chiefly respon- 
sible. And the history of the times abundantly proves that 
the counsellors of the king, like the counsellors of Achitophel, 
were unworthy of his confidence and traitors to his interests. 



From the settlement of Massachusetts, there were not want- chap. 
ing men, neither friends to the colony nor to the English ^JJiw 
constitution, who busied themselves in secretly traducing and 1748 
maliciously representing the loyalty of the people. These 1763 
men could always find others to listen to their tales ; and, 
under the Stuarts, the mischiefs which sprang from this source 
threatened serious evils. Those who have been disappointed 
in the prosecution of their own schemes can seldom wit- 
ness without envy the successes of others ; and especially if 
crossed in their purposes, the wound rankles deeper in their 
breasts, and becomes immedicable. Such was the experience 
of America at that period ; and, by the machinations of her 
enemies, Massachusetts lost the charter which, for more than 1684. 
fifty years, had guarded her liberties and protected her from 
harm. When a new charter was granted, her enemies revived, 1692. 
and, ever vigilant to check her prosperity, their schemes for 
her humiliation were prosecuted afresh. The parties responsi- 
ble for the measures which followed it is not difficult to design 
nate. Merchants and manufacturers, whose grasping avarice . 
could brook no rivalry, complained of the commercial and 
industrial prosperity of New England ; aspirants for office, 
eager for preferment and lacking in principle, echoed these 
complaints, and, deplored the levelling spirit which prevailed ; 
and purblind statesmen, destitute of political sagacity, though 
vaunting their superior wisdom, recommended a course of legis- 
lation based upon false premises, supported by misrepresenta- 
tions, and enforced with a rigor which begat a retaliatory 
spirit, and alienated those whom the truly wise would have 
sought to conciliate, rather than to repel. 

Hooker, the great light of English literature, and the de- 
fender of the "ecclesiastical polity " of the church, declares, 
that " the lawful power of making laws to command whole 
political societies of men belongeth so properly unto the same 
entire societies, that for any prince or potentate, of what kind 
soever upon earth, to exercise the same of himself, and not 

vol. 11. 16 


chap, either by express commission immediately and personally re- 

s _^ w ceived from God, or else authority received at first from their 

1748 consent upon whose persons they impose laws, — it is no better 

1763. than mere tyranny.' 71 To the correctness of this doctrine the 

American people readily subscribed ; and the acts of the king 

and of the Parliament of which they complained were, in their 

estimation, an infringement of their liberties as Englishmen 

and as men. The history of that legislation, and of its causes 

and results, will prepare us to understand the action of the 

colonies, and will amply defend them from the charge of 


The instincts of a whole people may sometimes be wrong ; 
yet the maxim, Vox populi vox Dei, holds true in general. A 
few persons may delude themselves with the idea that their 
rights are invaded, when, in fact, all that has awakened their 
resentment is that wholesome restraint indispensable to the 
welfare of every community. But when the public itself rises 
in its might ; when the gifted and the true, as well as the 
masses, are burning with a sense of overwhelming injustice, 
and no alternative is left but to resist or be enslaved ; then 
resistance is lawful — nay, it is imperatively demanded ; and 
he who would condemn it must do so by a perverse reasoning, 
against which there is no remedy, and which can only be left 
to be cured by its own folly. For nearly a century the Amer- 
ican people were the victims of an oppression as systematic as 
it was unjust. They were entitled to the rights of Englishmen 
— to the rights of man. The former were trampled upon ; the 
latter were denied. English jurisprudence bounded its views 
of American duty by the narrowest construction of legal fic- 
tions. It seems never to have entered the minds of the major- 
ity of British statesmen that there was any thing superior to 
human constitutions ; nor was the sacredness of compacts 
strictly regarded. Not only was there a defect in the founda- 

1 Eccles. Polity, book viii. 


tion of their reasoning, but the superstructure built upon that chap. 
reasoning was equally defective. A gigantic system of fraud J^^ 
and of wrong was reared, which reached such a height that 1748 
the whole political fabric tottered under its weight, and the 1763. 
dismemberment of the colonies was the natural result. 

The restriction of commercial and of manufacturing interests 
was one of the earliest causes of complaint. There has never 
existed, perhaps, a more energetic people than the original set- 
tlers of British America. Coming to a new country, which 
was to be subdued by their toil, and compelled to depend, not 
upon extraneous aid, but upon their own resources, for success, 
the efforts they put forth were necessarily vigorous ; nor would 
their labors have been crowned with such abundant rewards, 
had it not been for the diligence with which they were prose- 
cuted. Hence, within fifteen years from the settlement of 1643. 
Boston, the inhabitants of Massachusetts were noted for their 
enterprise ; they had built up a commerce, both local and for- 
eign, and had laid the foundation for domestic manufactures. 1 
And from that time forward these branches of industry were 
pursued with a zeal which knew no abatement, but which was 
constantly stimulated by the hope of increased gains ; so that, 
before the charter fell, merchants and manufacturers began to 1676. 
complain that such " widely-extended traffic, if not checked in 
season, would not only ruin the trade of this kingdom, but 
would leave no sort of dependence from that country to this." 2 
In consequence of this enterprise, and of the complaints of the 
disaffected, the commerce of the country was subjected to laws 
whose authority was resisted and whose constitutionality was 
denied, though submission was generally, if reluctantly, paid 
to them. 

Before the close of the seventeenth century, at the instance 1696, 
of Davenant and the principal merchants of Bristol and Liver- 
pool, the " Board of Trade " was established, to regulate the 

1 See vol. i. of this work, p. 309. s See vol L p. 453. 


chap, national and colonial commerce. The position of this body, 
^^^ even if the expediency of its establishment is conceded, was 
1696. peculiarly unfortunate ; nor were its members, in all cases, 
distinguished for their wisdom. Framed to promote the 
commerce of England, which attracted a large share of the 
attention of the nation, it had yet no executive power, nor 
could it enforce the regulations it saw fit to adopt. It could 
ouly investigate, deliberate, and advise. It could hear com- 
plaints from whatever source they came, especially from the 
governors of the colonies ; but it had little responsibility for 
the measures it proposed. The ministers were the responsible 
parties, though it was doubtless designed that they should be 
advised by the lords of trade, and kept properly informed ; 
but, from the fact that the power of these lords was purposely 
circumscribed, and their importance could be increased only 
by alarming the fears or humoring the prejudices of the coun- 
sellors of the king, they were tempted to give false informa- 
tion, and to suggest harsh measures, well knowing that either 
would result in little harm unless the counsellors were deceived 
by their information, and approved their measures. It must 
not be supposed, however, that the Board of Trade was utterly 
powerless to accomplish the purposes for which it was insti- 
tuted. On the contrary, as the depositary for all complaints 
from home and from abroad, and as bound to be informed of 
the state of the colonies in general, and of each province in 
particular, its archives were loaded with documents of every 
description, and to this day are valuable for the materials they 
furnish illustrating the progress of the colonies and the spirit 
and purposes of their rulers and officers. 1 
1701 The war against the new charter was commenced at an early 
1715. date ; but, fortunately for the people, by the labors of their 

1 The records of this board are several volumes relating to the history 

comprised in upwards of two thousand of that state ; and the materials from 

folio volumes, relating chiefly to Amer- the same source illustrating the histo- 

ica. The State of New York, with ry of Massachusetts are copious and 

commendable liberality, has published valuable. 


agents and the help of their friends these attempts were frus- chap. 
trated, and the province was left to act under the instrument ^JJ^, 
which had been sanctioned by solemn pledges, and which could 
not have been violated without the grossest injustice. 1 The 
character of these attempts evinces the infatuation which had 
seized upon the statesmen of England, and their ignorance of 
the principles of natural and civil liberty. 

It was a defect in the charter of William and Mary that the 
governors of the provinces were to be appointed by the king, 
instead of being chosen by the people. These governors, it 
was early foreseen, would receive their appointments, not be- 
cause of their acquaintance with the countries they were to 
rule, or their fidelity to the interests of the people, but because 
of their zeal in supporting the prerogative. For the most part 
strangers to America, having neither estate, nor connections, 
nor interests there, little dependence could be placed upon 
their friendliness ; and of many it was openly said, " They 
come only to make money as fast as they can ; are sometimes 
men of vicious characters and broken fortunes, sent by a min- 
ister merely to get them out of the way ; and, as they intend 
staying in the country no longer than their government con- 
tinues, and purpose to leave no family behind them, they are 
apt to be regardless of the good will of the people, and care 
not what is said or thought of them after they are gone." 2 

It was on this ground that the legislatures of Massachusetts 
and New York, as well as of other provinces, refused to settle 
fixed salaries on their governors. It was only by so doing 
that their rapacity could be curbed and their fidelity secured. 
The misrepresentations of these gentlemen had, doubtless, a 
powerful influence upon the suggestions and actions of the 
lords of trade, and the secretary for the southern department 
who stood between them and the crown. They were supposed 

1 For an account of these attempts hame, &c. ; and comp. Franklin's 
for the subversion of the charter, see Works, iv. 296. 
Dummer's Defence, Hutchinson, Gra- 2 Franklin's Works j Prior Doc'ts. 


chap, to be well acquainted with the condition of the colonies and 
■■•■'., the views of the people ; and when, in their state papers, thev 
complained of the " insubordinate spirit " which prevailed, and 
accused the people of disloyalty, it is not surprising that their 
allegations were received as true, and that an impression went 
abroad unfavorable to America. The governors of Massachu- 
setts were not behind those of other provinces in spreading 
these misrepresentations ; and the official papers of the Board 
of Trade prove conclusively that few of them hesitated to 
accuse the people of " aiming at independence," and of u resist- 
ing the wholesome instructions of the king." 

The controversies with the crown under the administrations 
of Dudley, of Shute, of Burnet, and of Belcher, have been 
already noticed, with the action of Parliament during that 
period. Under the administration of Governor Shirley, these 
contests were continued ; and that gentleman, whose ambition 
it was to commend himself to the favor of the king and the 
ministry, and who was a zealous supporter of the supremacy of 
Parliament, was conspicuous for his zeal in the cause of oppres- 
1749. sion — urging a tax to be laid upon the colonies by Parliament 
for the support of frontier garrisons, and a revenue to the 
crown independent of the people. A large share of responsi- 
bility for the measures which followed must attach to Mr. 
Shirley and his confederates in the other provinces. It was 
at their suggestion that many steps were taken which would 
hardly have been thought of, or at least not attempted, had it 
not been for their advice. They were busy in inflaming the 
prejudices of the enemies of America, and succeeded too well 
in poisoning the minds of the counsellors of the king. Hence 
a system of oppression was begun and continued, until the 
people of America, exasperated beyond endurance, appealed to 
the last resort for redress, and submitted their cause to the 
arbitration of the sword. 

The war with France which terminated with the peace of 
Oct. 8. Aix la Chapelle burdened England with debt. Massachusetts, 


in the mean time, though involved in that war, and conducting chap 
enterprises for the conquest of Canada, had not materially ^Jl^ 
increased her burdens ; but, by her commercial activity and 
diligence, and by developing her industrial resources, she had 
gone on prospering in her circumstances, and had largely ex- 
tended the area of her operations. The expense of the capture 
of Louisburg was indeed great, and at the close of the war the 
province was in debt over two hundred thousand pounds ster- 
ling ; but as England reimbursed more than one hundred and 
eighty thousand pounds, this sum, judiciously applied, placed 
the currency upon a sound basis again, and remedied evils 
which had long been felt. It is not to be inferred, however, 
because the finances of the province were temporarily embar- 
rassed, that the energies of the people were palsied, or that the 
channels of trade and commerce were choked. On the con- 
trary, a sense of the necessity for vigorous exertion to prevent 
such a calamity had stimulated the activity and industry of all 
classes ; societies and schemes for the promotion of domestic 
manufactures were organized and established ; and enterprising 
merchants sent forth their vessels to all ports where commerce 
could be profitably conducted. 1 

Two transactions in Parliament, at this date, indicate the 
policy upon which the statesmen of England were preparing to 
enter. In 1748-9, a bill was brought in for strengthening the 1748-9. 

.Mar. o. 

prerogative, by which all the king's instructions were to be 
enforced in the colonies. This bill, had it passed, would have 
swept away at once the charters of the provinces without trial 
or judgment, and would have established a precedent which 
might have been dangerous to England itself. Wise men fore- 
saw these evils, and the bill was defeated. At the instance of 
Walpole, an attempt was next made to regulate and restrain 
the bills of credit which had been put in circulation.. Mr. 
Bollan, the agent of Massachusetts, exerted himself, with others, 

1 Minot,i. 135. 


chap, to defeat this attempt, but without success ; for an act was 
^J^ passed which forbade the issue of bills of credit except for the 
1751. current expenses of the year and in case of an invasion, but in 
no case were such bills to be a legal tender for the payment 
of debts, on pain of dismission from office on the part of any 
provincial governor, and a perpetual incapacity for serving in 
any public employment. 1 
1750. The complaint of the West India sugar planters was attend- 
ed with more serious consequences. The wealthy proprietors 
who owned those plantations, jealous of the success of their 
rivals at the north, and of the extent and importance of their 
commercial adventures, charged them with being the agents 
of France and other foreign nations — carrying on commerce 
with Europe and America for their own particular benefit, and 
against the interests of the mother country. 2 Complaints from 
so respectable a source could not pass unheeded, especially as 
the proprietors themselves were persons of influence at court, 
and many of the merchants of England were interested in their 
plantations. Rum was, at that date, the " chief manufacture " 
of Massachusetts; and the arguments adduced in support of 
its utility were certainly novel, if they were not convincing. 
It was contended that this " staple commodity " was the " grand 
support of their trades and fishery, without which they could 
no longer subsist." As a "standing article in the Indian trade," 
and the "common drink" of "laborers, timbermen, mastmen, 
loggers, and fishermen," how deplorable their condition, if de- 
prived of this beverage ! They " could not endure the hard- 
ships of their employments nor the rigors of the season with- 
out it." How cruel, therefore, to restrain such a traffic ! 

1 Commons Journals, xxv. 246, and and in 1739 another petition was pre- 
xxvi. 65, 119, 120, 187, 206, 265; sented, in consequence of which a bill 
Ashley's Mems. on Trade, &c. ; Chal- was brought into the House for grant- 
mers, 'Revolt, ii. 257 ; Minot, i. 146- ing liberty to carry sugar directly to 
148 ; Gordon's Am. Rev. i. 87. foreign markets. Ashley's Mems. on 

2 A like petition was presented in the Trade of the Colonies, chaps, i. 
1731, which led to the act of 1733 ; and ii. 


Besides, rum was the " merchandise " principally made use of chap. 
to procure " corn and pork ; " nay, more, it was exported to ^^ 
Guinea, and "exchanged for gold and slaves." This gold 1750. 
flowed freely into the coffers of England, and these slaves 
were carried to the English sugar colonies, and " exchanged for 
their commodities, or sold for bills on Great Britain." Rum 
was, therefore, an article of vital importance. It aided in 
selling "refuse fish" and " low-priced horses," and was indis- 
pensable to whalemen, being the " common drink of their pro- 
fession." x 

Hence the preeminent importance of rum ; and could the 
statesmen of England fail to be impressed with such logic ? 
The reasoning was conclusive ; and for the time being the 
West India merchants failed of their purpose. Is it surprising 
when, a few years later, the legislators of Massachusetts, con- 1754. 
sidering the extent and "importance of the rum traffic, proposed 
an excise upon wines and other spirituous liquors, that this 
proposal produced an excitement and provoked a controversy 
which disturbed for a long time the peace of the province ? 
Taxes were becoming burdensome from the increased expenses 
of the government ; and the House, to relieve the polls and 
estates, the subjects of the " dry tax," imposed a duty on the 
consumption of spirituous liquors. In the bill for this purpose 
— so stringent were its terms — every householder, if required, 
was to report, under oath, the quantity consumed in his family 
not purchased of some licensed person, in order that the duties 
might be accounted for by the consumer. This regulation, 
from its invasion of " the liberties of the people," excited great 
opposition ; in every town the law was more or less de- 
nounced ; the press teemed with pamphlets, in which the mem- 
bers of the House were attacked with great violence ; and 

1 These reasons are urged in Ash- " Reasons against the Renewal of the 

ley's Mem. on the Trade of the Colo- Sugar Act," &c., pp. 12-15. See also 

nies, published in 1740, and in a Minot, i. 148-164. 
pamphlet, published in 1764, entitled 



chap, prosecutions were instituted against some persons who were 


^_^, most bitter in their opposition. The character of the litera- 
1754. ture which this controversy called forth reminds one strongly 
of that of the age of Elizabeth, when Martin Mar-Prelate sent 
forth his extravagant productions. The titles of some of the 
present pamphlets were equally significant ; and " The Monster 
of Monsters," " The Cub new licked," and other delectable per- 
formances, remain as evidences of the extent of the excitement 
and the temper of the weapons with which the war was con- 

In opposition to the law, it was urged that the tax, once 
submitted to, would be a precedent for other taxes equally 
obnoxious, and " windows,' 7 and " soap," and all other articles 
would come under the prohibitory ban, until nothing would be 
free. The virtues of rum were loudly extolled. The nectar 
of the gods was " trash " in comparison. It was a sovereign 
specific for the poisonous qualities with which the waters of 
the country were loaded, flowing as they did " through marshes 
and fens, spawning with frogs." A tax upon other luxuries 
would be far less objectionable, as the wealthy would pay a 
large portion of such tax ; but to tax rum, the drink of the 
poor, the consoler, the vivifier, the " ambrosia from heaven," — 
this was indeed to touch nearly the people. Boston and the 
trading towns were the principal opponents of the law ; else- 
where in the community it was viewed with more favor ; and 
the House, finding public opinion divided, assumed the respon- 
sibility of passing the bill, and the law was enforced. 1 

The complaint of the West India sugar planters was fol- 
lowed by the complaint of the English iron manufacturers, and 
1750. this was promptly heard. The manufacture of iron in the 
colonies had become somewhat important ; and to check the 

1 Speech of Governor Shirley, of Eclipse; Letter to a Merchant in 

June 17, in the Evening Post for Boston, by a True Friend of Liberty j 

June 24, 1754; Freedom the First Minot, i. 201-214. 
of Blessings ; the Relapse ; the 


danger of rivalry, a committee, of which Charles Townshend chap. 
was chairman, reported a bill, which permitted the importation ^^ w 
of pig or bar iron duty free, but forbade, under a penalty of 1750. 
two hundred pounds, and declared to be " nuisances," the erec- 
tion of mills for slitting or rolling iron, or plating forges to 
work with a tilt hammer, or furnaces for making steel. Penn- 
sylvania resisted this act as " an attack on the rights of the 
king's subjects in America ; " Massachusetts denounced it as 
an infringement of her natural rights. To the English manu- 
facturers it was objectionable in so far as it encouraged the 
importation of the raw material ; and,^to appease them, such 
importation was limited to the port of London. The most 
odious clause in the law was, that a return of existing mills 
was required, and the number was never to be increased ; and 
it was only by a small majority that a proposition for the de- 
struction of every slitting mill was defeated. The indignation 
which such a law would excite among the people may be read- 
ily conceived ; nor is it surprising that its enactment deepened 
their hatred of the tyranny which oppressed them. 1 

False steps, once taken, are not easily retraced ; and the 
statesmen of England, having entered upon the task of legis- 
lating for the colonies, found that task so congenial to their 
ambition that the very opposition their measures awakened 
served to confirm them in their course ; and, determined at all 
hazard to subdue the refractory people, fresh projects were 
devised, in which the lords of trade and the ministry became 
deeply interested. An American revenue was imperiously 
demanded ; and, to secure it, the sugar act of the early part 
of this reign was revived and continued. 2 Nor was this all. 1733 
"Persons of consequence," it is said, "had repeatedly, and 1751. 
without concealment, expressed undigested notions of raising 

1 Commons Journals, xxv. 979, 1757 ; Douglas, ii. 109 ; Minot, i. 

986, 993, 1053, 1091, 1096; Acts 23 170, 171. 

Geo. II. c. xxix , and 30 Geo. II. c. 2 Acts 12 G. II. c. xxx., and 24 G. 

xvi. ; Plantation Laws for 1750 and II. c. lviii. j Chalmers, Revolt, ii. 121. 


chap, revenues out of the colonies " — some proposing to accomplish 
^^ this object through the medium of the post office, others by a 
1751. modification of the acts of trade, and others by a stamp act, to 
apply to all the colonies. The Board of Trade, equally urgent 
" for a revenue with which to fix settled salaries on the north- 
ern governors, and defray the cost of Indian alliances," heark- 
1753. ened not unwillingly to such suggestions, and at length an- 

Mar. 8. ° J feG ' ° 

nounced to the House of Commons the " want of a colonial 
revenue," and proposed, as the first step towards securing such 
revenue, a revision of the acts relating to the West Indies, and 
to substitute imposts on all West India produce brought into 
the northern colonies ; but, for the " want of information on 
the subject," the proposal was delayed. 1 

The next step was more decisive. Shirley, indefatigable in 
his devotion to the crown, continued to urge upon the secretary 
1755. of state " the necessity, not only of a parliamentary union, but 
' taxation ; " officers in every colony clamored for the same 
July, object ; and Halifax, soon after, insisted with the ministry on 
a " general system to ease the mother country of the great and 
heavy expenses with which it of late years was burdened." It 
was accordingly resolved to " raise funds for American affairs 
by a stamp duty, and a duty on products of the West Indies 
imported into the continental colonies." A tax upon " stamped 
paper " was likewise suggested, which was to be " so diffused 
as to be in a manner insensible." 2 Massachusetts was informed 
Nov. 6. of these proceedings, and immediately instructed her agent to 
" oppose every thing that shall have the remotest tendency to 
raise a revenue in the plantations for any public uses or ser- 
vices of government." 3 If, in consequence of such instructions, 
apprehensions were entertained that the colonies would, " in 
time, throw off their dependency upon the mother country, and 
set up one general government among themselves," Shirley was 

1 Bancroft, iv. 100, 101. on Course of Great Britain, &c, 89, 

2 Shirley to Sir T. Robinson, Feb. 92. 

4, 1755 ; Board of Trade to the Sec- 3 Mass. Rec's; Gordon's Am. Rev. 
retary of State, July, 1755 j Essay i. 95. 


at hand to remark that, " whilst his majesty hath seven thou- chap. 
sand troops kept up within them, with the Indians at command, ^^_ 
it seems easy, provided his governors and principal officers are 1755. 
independent of the assemblies for their subsistence, and com- 
monly vigilant, to prevent any step of that kind from being 
taken." l Such opiates soothed the timid ; and the resolute 
were more earnest to bring the people into " immediate subjec- 
tion." The idea of a standing army, already familiar to their 
minds, was eagerly seized upon ; and, by an order in council, 1756. 
the rule was laid down, without limitation, that troops might 
be kept up in the colonies, and quartered upon the people, 
without the consent of the several assemblies. Thus a perma- 
nent army was established ; and, before many years, the people 
became accustomed to the presence of a hireling soldiery, the 
ostensible object of whose enlistment was " to guard the fron- 
tiers," but which were actually designed to overawe, should an 
independent spirit be manifested. 2 

With an army to enforce its provisions, and " warrants of 
distress and imprisonment of persons " in case of resistance, a 
law imposing a tax upon the colonies, it was thought, could be 
executed without difficulty ; and the British press began to l J 57 - 
defend the scheme which had been " often mentioned in private, 
to introduce a stamp duty on vellum and paper." The project 
of a stamp act was pressed upon Pitt ; but he " scorned to take 
an unjust and ungenerous advantage" of the colonies. Yet, 
though the war with France prevented its immediate prosecu- 
tion, the measure was too important to be laid wholly aside. 
Hints in its favor had been repeatedly thrown out by colonial 
governors, writers upon political economy, and aspiring office 
seekers ; and it was thought the time had arrived when these 
hints might be improved upon, and a revenue secured. 3 Hence 
a memorable resolve was adopted in the House of Commons, 

1 * Shirley to Sir T. Robinson, Aug. 2 Bancroft, iv. 229, 230. 
15, 1755 ; Bollan's Lett, to Secretary 3 Comp. Gordon's Am. Rev. i. 80, 
Willard, in 1 M. H. Coll. vi. 129. ' 81, 90 ; Bancroft, iv. 58. 


chap, that " the claim of right in a colonial assembly to raise and 
^_J^, apply public money by its own act alone is derogatory to the 
1757. crown, and to the rights of the people of Great Britain." This 
was controlling with a high hand the legislation of the colo- 
nies ; but, as the views of Parliament and the counsellors of 
the king did not in all respects harmonize, and the privy coun- 
cil were persuaded that they, with the king, had plenary power 
to govern America, the execution of the extreme authority of 
Parliament was again postponed. 1 

Upon the accession of Pitt to the ministry, measures of tax- 
ation were abandoned, and assurances of protection and en- 
couragement were sent from England. And, without doubt, 
the great commoner was sincere in his expressions of good 
will ; but, unfortunately for him and for America, though much 
power was lodged in his hands, he was not supreme ; and, 
though he threw all his influence upon the side of reform, such 
was the weight of existing abuses, and such was the strength 
of former prejudices, that, with all his zeal and with all his 
eloquence, he was unable to infuse his own spirit into every 
branch of the government. Hence the Board of Trade, over 
which Halifax still presided, and at which Oswald, Jenyns, 
Bigby, and Hamilton sat as members, earnest to enforce the 
policy it had long advocated, was preparing a new scheme for 
narrowing the power of the colonies, and was courting the 
complaints of the royalist governors, who were vehement in 
advocating a tax upon the people. Of the secret designs of 
this formidable cabal Pitt was for some time ignorant, nor 
were the colonies better informed of the impending storm. 
Relying implicitly upon the professions of the minister, the cit- 
izens of Massachusetts were fully assured that, while he ruled, 
nothing would be wilfully done to infringe upon their liberties, 
and that his integrity would frown upon, and his vigilance 
defeat, every attempt to degrade and enslave them. Nor was 

1 Bancroft, iv. 255. 


this confidence misplaced ; for, so great was the love of free- chap. 
dom with Pitt, he would sooner have sacrificed his own prefer- IX ' 
ments than have been guilty of abridging the liberties of 1757, 

Under these circumstances, Massachusetts acted with charac- 
teristic promptness ; and the legislature of the province, to be -759. 
beforehand with the statesmen of England, revived one of its 
former acts, and imposed of its own accord a stamp tax upon 
vellum and paper, besides assessing a tax on personal estate of 
thirteen shillings and fourpence on the pound income, and a 
poll tax of nineteen shillings on every male over sixteen. 1 
Governor Pownall, foreseeing the tendency of these measures, 
had already predicted, with his usual confidence, the "nearness 
of American independence ; " and, aggrieved at the conduct of 
the legislature in keeping under its own control the money 
which had been raised for the conduct of the war, he laid his 
complaints before the Board of Trade. That board, expressing 
its deliberate and settled conviction that " the dependence 
which the colony of Massachusetts Bay ought to have upon 
the sovereignty of the crown stands on a very precarious foot," 
and was " in great danger of being totally lost/' unless " some 
efficient remedy was timely applied," advised dissimulation ; 
and, by heeding this advice, the cloud passed over for a time. 2 

At this juncture Governor Pownall was transferred to South 176(X 
Carolina ; and Francis Bernard, the willing friend to the Eng- 
lish church and the British authority, was appointed governor 
of Massachusetts. The administration of Pownall had been 
comparatively short ; but he had proved himself zealous in the 
defence of the prerogative. His standing in the community 
was remarkably good ; and, by " guiding the people with a 

1 Mass. Rec's; Chauncy's Sermon paper; and on the 18th of June, 1755, 
on Repeal of Stamp Act ; Gordon's it was renewed for two years. On the 
&m. Rev. i. 98. 4th of June, 1756, James Russell was 

2 Bancroft, iv. 299. In January, chosen commissioner of stamps. Jour. 
1755, an act was passed for granting H. of R. for 1755-6, 32, 42. 

duties upon vellum, parchment, and 


chap, silken cord," and conducting prudently in the disbursement of 

^J^^, the revenues, he had made himself popular. Easy in his man- 
1760. ners, courteous and affable in his intercourse with others, and 
inclining to indulge in the pleasures of fashionable life, he was 
the welcome associate of the wealthy and the gay ; and his 
supposed influence in England, and the respectability of his 
connections, gave him great weight in the public councils. 
The extent of his influence with the legislature at large is 
evinced by their respectful and even panegyrical addresses, and 
by the offer of a passage to England in the provincial frigate, 
previous to his entering upon the duties of his new commis- 

June 3. si on ; and, at his embarkation, both Houses attended him in a 
body to his barge, and took leave of him in terms as compli- 
mentary to his talents as they were creditable to themselves. 1 

Mr. Bernard, the successor of Pownall, had previously served 
as governor of New Jersey, and was therefore somewhat ac- 
quainted with the spirit of the people. His advancement to 
Massachusetts was esteemed a reward for his former fidelity ; 

Aug. 4. and, upon his arrival, he was received with the respect due to 
his office. In his first address to the General Court, which 
was convened shortly after, he expressed his intention to pre- 
serve the privileges secured by the charter ; and, in a subse- 

Sept.26. quent speech, he hinted at the " blessings of their subjection to 
Great Britain." The House, in their replies, joined in extol- 
ling the " happiness of the times ; " but, instead of acknowledg- 
ing their " subjection n to Great Britain, they contented them- 
selves simply with expressing their " relation " to that country. 
Yet the English constitution they unanimously applauded • — an 
instrument which, in the estimation of the wisest, " approached 
perfection," and of which their own was held to be a " copy," 
or rather " an improvement, with additional privileges," which 
were not enjoyed by the masses in England. 2 

1 Minot, ii. 62-65. uel Adams, quoted in Bancroft, iv. 16, 

2 Blackstone's Commentaries, b. i. 378 ; Hutchinson, iii. 83 ; Minot, ii. 
c. i. § 5, note 12 ; Writings of Sam- 76, 77. 


The conquest of Canada left England at liberty to listen chap. 
once more to the artful insinuations of " insubordination " ^JJ^ 
which were spread abroad by the enemies of America. Indeed, 1760. 
from almost every quarter it was urged that " North America 
could never remain long subject to Great Britain. 77 " It is no 
gift of prophecy," it was said ; " it is a natural and unavoida- 
ble consequence, and must appear so to every one whose head 
is not too much affected with popular madness or political 
enthusiasm.' 71 "For all what you Americans say of your 
loyalty, 77 was the declaration of Pratt, afterwards Lord Cam- 
den, in conversing with Franklin, " I know you will one day 
throw off your dependence upon this country, and, notwith- 
standing your boasted affection to it, will set up for independ- 
ence. 77 " No such idea, 77 was the prompt reply, " is entertained 
in the minds of the Americans ; and no such idea will ever 
enter their heads, unless you grossly abuse them. 77 " Very 
true, 77 was the rejoinder ; " that is one of the main causes I see 
will happen, and will produce the event. 77 2 

The work of " abuse 77 soon began ; and in Massachusetts its 
progress was signally marked. For a long time two parties 
had existed in the province — the party of freedom and the 
party of prerogative. At the head of the latter were such of 
the wealthy as hoped, by complaisance, to share the royal 
favor ; leagued with the former were the sagacious and elo- 
quent champions of the people. Two of these characters merit 
particular notice because of their prominence. Thomas Hutch- 
inson, a native of Massachusetts, and a descendant of Mrs. 
Anne Hutchinson, was the leader of the royalist party, and 
held the office of lieutenant governor. Gifted by nature with 
respectable talents ; plausible, influential, and of a grasping 
ambition, he had, from his entrance into public life, participated 
largely in political movements ; by a long course of training 

1 Weare's Lett, in 1 M. H. Coll. i. 2 Gordon's Am. Rev. i. 97 ; Quin- 
72, 76 ; Almon's Anecdotes, in Ban- cy's Life of Quincy, 269. 
croft, iv. 365. 

VOL. II. 17 


chap, he had acquainted himself thoroughly with the questions of 
^JJ^ the day ; and, foreseeing the advantages which obsequiousness 
1760. would secure him, he had devoted himself zealously to the sup- 
port of the prerogative. A lover of money and a lover of 
place, he sacrificed the nobility of his nature to acquire and 
enjoy wealth, and became the flatterer of every one he imagined 
could forward his interests. Even his professions of piety 
were a courtly pretence ; and, though not wilfully dishonest, 
his conscience had the peculiar elasticity which distinguishes 
the demagogue, and which knows how to equivocate, to con- 
ceal, and to deceive. He was as sincere in his patriotism as 
any one can be who sacrifices his country for personal aggran- 
dizement ; and, though not devoid of good qualities, though 
active in business and remarkably polite, his whole nature was 
corrupted with disingenuousness. Had he written his "His- 
tory of Massachusetts " alone, — an admirable work and a 
monument to his genius, 1 — he would have been entitled to 
great credit, for it is certainly worthy of high commendation ; 
but his unfortunate " Letters," designed only for private circu- 
lation, but which were discovered and published, stripped from 
his face the disguise he had borrowed, and exposed to the pub- 
lic his glaring insincerity. 2 
m? J ames O tls > the opponent of Hutchinson and the champion 
1743. of liberty, was a native of Barnstable, and a graduate of Har- 
1746. vard. At the age of twenty-one he commenced practising law 

1 Relative to the History of Hutch- ure of reading it." This passage has 

inson, I find the following passage in had the pen passed through it; but it 

his Corresp. vol. ii., forming part of a doubtless expresses the views of Gov- 

letter dated January 3, 1763. "I ernor Hutchinson, and shows that the 

design to carry down Mr. Prince's third volume of his History, at least, 

Chronology, and, as Bishop Burnet which was not published until after 

did, write the history of my own times, his death, was written under the influ- 

I shall paint characters as freely as he ence of partisan feelings, for which 

did ; but it shall not be published due allowance must be made in its 

while I live ; and I expect the same perusal. 

satisfaction which I doubt not the 2 On these letters, see Franklin's 

bishop had, of being revenged of some Works, vol. iv., and the notes of Mr. 

of the r s [rascals]. After I am Sparks. 

dead, I wish you may have the pleas- 


in Plymouth, in the old colony ; but two years after he moved chap. 
to Boston, where the brilliancy of his talents and his reputa- ^^ 
tion for integrity won for him at once an enviable fame, so 1748. 
that his services were sought in cases of the greatest impor- 
tance. Sincerely devoted to the cause of his country, keenly 
alive to the indignities it had endured, and anxious to distin- 
guish himself as the advocate of its rights, he had resented the 
slight which had been put upon his father, who had been prom- 
ised a judgeship by Shirley upon the occurrence of a vacancy, 
and who, upon the death of the venerable Sewall, applied for 1760. 

Sep. 11. 

the office, but was rejected by Bernard in favor of Hutchinson. 
As yet no opportunity had occurred for the display of his zeal, 
nor had he evinced the statesmanship for which he afterwards 
became famous ; but he was known as an orator of superior 
powers, and, from his ardent enthusiasm and the largeness of 
his heart, great hopes were formed of his future career. 1 

Nor were Hutchinson and Otis the only noted men of the 
day ; for on the side of the royalists were Andrew Oliver, the 
brother-in-law of Hutchinson, and a man of like principles ; 
the talented Gridley, a lawyer of learning, majestic in his man- 
ner, and at the head of his profession ; Timothy Buggies, a 
man of quick apprehension, and lordly in his manners, yet dis- 
tinguished for the boldness and strength of his thoughts. And 
on the side of the people were Samuel Adams, regarded by 
some as " the father of the revolution," a man of unquestionable 
devotion to liberty, " of steadfast integrity, exquisite humanity, 
genteel erudition, engaging manners, real as well as professed 
piety, and a universal good character ; " 2 the elder Otis, speak- 
er of the House and a distinguished politician ; Oxenbridge 
Thacher, a lawyer of merit, and respected for his learning, 
though somewhat eccentric ; James Bowdoin, subsequently gov- 
ernor of Massachusetts, distinguished for his learning, his 

1 On Otis, see Tudor's Life of Otis ; 2 John Adams, Diary, in Works, 
Allen's and Eliot's Biog. Diction's; ii. 163. 
Hutchinson, iii. 86 et seq. 


chap, courtesy, and his address ; and Thomas dishing, calm yet con- 
^J^^ stant in his devotion to freedom, and famed for his secrecy and 
1760. his talent at procuring the earliest intelligence. 

The age called for great men, and great men appeared. 
Whenever special instruments are required in a country, God 
raises them up ; and, as the battles of freedom were to be 
fought on these shores, and a new empire was to grow out of 
the violence of the old world, he imparted the courage which 
shrinks from no danger, the patriotism which threats cannot 
terrify nor blandishments seduce, the chivalrous virtue which 
sacrifices ease and personal security for the benefit of others, 
the fidelity to principle which falters not in its path, and the 
heroic spirit which never quails. It was by men of such tem- 
per that the colonies were prepared for their freedom. They 
were found, not only in New England, but in New York, and 
at the south. In all British America union of feeling began 
to spring up ; and, as the meshes, of tyranny were drawn closer 
and closer, and escape seemed impossible, the resolute clad 
themselves in the panoply of war, and the gauntlet of defiance 
was thrown at the feet of the king and his ministers. 
Oct. 25. The death of George II., and the accession of George III., 
mark a new era in the history of the colonies. Already were 
rumors in circulation of the " fixed design in England to re- 
model the provinces ; " l and many officers of the army expressed 
openly the opinion that " America should be compelled to yield 
a revenue at the disposition of the crown." 2 Such proposals 
could not but awaken resentment ; and the feeling was ex- 
pressed, " These Englishmen will overturn every thing. We 
must resist them, and that by force." 3 Nor was the character 
of the new monarch, then but twenty-two years of age, such as 
to inspire the hope that, under his reign, the affairs of the 
provinces would be less rigorously conducted. True, Ingersoll, 
of Connecticut, who was present at his coronation, carried 

1 John Adams's Works, iv. 6, 7. 3 John Adams's "Works, iv. 6. 

8 Bancroft, iv. 371. 


away by the general enthusiasm, described him as " not only, chap 
as a king, disposed to do all in his power to make his subjects ^JJ^ 
happy," but as " undoubtedly of a disposition truly religious." 1 1760. 
This was before the arbitrariness of his disposition had had 
time to develop itself ; for the ruling idea, indelibly branded 
in his mind, was the restoration of the prerogative, which, in 
America, the provincial assemblies had resisted and defied. 
" The young man is very obstinate," was Charles Townshend's 
judgment ; and facts soon verified the correctness of that 
judgment. 2 

The news of the demise of George II. reached Boston in 
the winter ; 3 and soon after events occurred significant in their Dec. 17 
influence upon the liberties of America. The reduction of 
Canada, it was hoped by the people, would free them from the 
presence of a formidable enemy, and enable them to " sit quiet 
under their own vines and fig trees, with none to molest or 
make them afraid." 4 Satisfied, generally, with the government 
under their charter, notwithstanding its defects, and sincerely 
attached to the English constitution, no people were more loyal 
than the inhabitants of the colonies. Undoubtedly there were 
some who had figured to themselves, in the distant future, an 
American empire of unlimited extent and unparalleled gran- 
deur ; but, while the French held possession of a large portion 
of the continent, the people, as a whole, were content with their 
present condition, and would probably have continued so had 
they been left undisturbed. When the French were subdued, 
a new scene opened. It was foreseen by English as well as 
by colonial statesmen that the pleasantness, fertility, and plenty 
of the country, washed by the Atlantic for over two thousand 
miles on its coasts, and communicating with a region of exu- 

1 Bancroft, iv. 385. Franklin, also, Works, vii. 440, ed. 1840. 
in 1769, speaking of George III., says, 2 Bancroft, iv. 386, 387. 
" I can scarcely conceive a king of 3 Boston Gazette for Jan. 1, 1761 ; 

better dispositions, of more exemplary Hutchinson, iii. 88. 
virtues, or more truly desirous of pro- 4 Walpole's George III. ii. 70 ; 

moting the welfare of his subjects." Hutchinson, iii. 84. 


ohap. bezant fertility by vast lakes and many navigable rivers. 1 would 
naturally invite, and that there was nothing to obstruct, a 
gradual progress of the settlements, already extensive, through- 
out the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The pop- 
ulation of the colonies was rapidly increasing, and the number 
of inhabitants doubled once in about twenty-five years. In less 
than a century, therefore, if not within half that time, there 
would be " more people in America than in England ; " 2 and 
would a body so numerous and hardy, " accustomed to more 
than British liberty/' with whom the " leaven of independency " 
was thought to be " irradicable," perpetually submit to foreign 
domination, without a thought of bettering their condition by 
" setting up for themselves " ? These considerations, indeed, 
did not of themselves " immediately occasion any plan w to se- 
cure " independency ; " but they " produced a higher sense of 
the grandeur and importance of the colonies," and broader 
views of the destiny to which they might attain ; and minds 
accustomed to reflection could not long resist the impulse 
which such thoughts inspired. Hence, every where, "men 
were led to inquire, with greater attention than formerly, into 
the relation in which the colonies stood to the state from which 
they sprang ; " and, from various events, they were " prepared 
to think more favorably of independency, before any measures 
were taken with a professed design of attaining it." 

One of these events was the opening of the drama which 
soon after followed. By an act of Parliament of the 6th of 
1733. George II., a duty of sixpence per gallon was imposed upon 
all foreign molasses imported into the colonies ; and in case of 
forfeiture, one third part went to the king for the use of the 
colony where the forfeiture was made, one third to the gov- 
ernor, and one third to the informer. This act had been in 
force for nearly thirty years ; large sums had been forfeited 
under it ; and illegal abuses had been committed in the disposal 

1 Weare's Lett, in 1 M. H. Coll. i. 2 Weare, in 1 M. H. ColL i. 71; 
72. Grahame, ii. 363. 


of the fines. The officers of the customs, distinguished for chap. 
their rapacity, and zealous to meet the approval of the minis- ^J^ 
try, began to be more vigorous in enforcing the law ; and, as it 176O. 
had ever been odious, their conduct was resented, their pro- 
ceedings were scrutinized, and their authority was questioned. 
A petition for a hearing was presented by several merchants ; 
the committee reported in their favor, and both branches of 
the legislature sanctioned their report. The officers of the 
customs appealed to the governor, and the resolution of the 
House was negatived. A conference ensued, and the governor 
acquiesced in the resolution. Immediately an action was 
brought by the treasurer of the province, and a plea in abate- 
ment was made by Mr. Paxton. This plea was overruled in 
the Inferior Court ; but, on the appeal, it was sustained by the 
Superior Court, and judgment was rendered against the treas- 
urer. 1 

This triumph of the officers prepared them to take stronger 
grounds ; and, as they had been accustomed, under color of the 
law, forcibly to enter both warehouses and dwelling houses, 
upon information that contraband goods were concealed in 
them, one of their number petitioned the Superior Court for 
writs of assistance to aid in the execution of his duty. Excep- 
tions were taken to this application, and James Otis desired a 
time might be assigned for a hearing. His request was grant- 
ed : and, on the day fixed, Thomas Hutchinson, the new chief 1761 
... . Feb - 

justice, with his four associates, sat in the crowded council 

chamber of the old town house, in Boston, for the trial of the 
cause. 2 

The case for the crown was opened by Gridley, as the king's 
attorney, and the legality of the writ was learnedly maintained. 
" The statutes of the 12th and 14th of Charles II., and the 6th 

1 Hutchinson, iii. 89-92 ; Minot, ii. thority under which the officers acted 

80-87. Hutchinson says the cause in these cases was " assumed," and 

was " feebly supported " by the plain- that the warrants which the governor 

tiffs. had been accustomed to issue were 

9 Hutchinson admits that the au- " of no value." Hist. iii. 92 93. 


chap. h of Anne," — such was his plea, — "allow writs of assistance to 
^J^^ be issued by the English Court of Exchequer ; the colonial law 
1761. of the 2d William III., chapter 3, devolves the power of that 
court on the colonial Superior Court ; and the statutes of the 
7th and 8th William III. confer upon colonial revenue officers 
the same powers as are exercised by the like officers in Eng- 
land. To refuse, therefore, the writ of assistance, even if the 
common privileges of Englishmen are taken away by it, is to 
deny that the Parliament of Great Britain is the sovereign 
legislature of the British empire." * 

Oxenbridge Thacher rose to reply • and his argument evinces 
his wisdom and learning. " The material question which claims 
our attention," said he, " is whether the practice of the Ex- 
chequer is good ground for this court. The court itself has 
renounced the chance of jurisdiction which the Exchequer had 
in cases where either party was the king's debtor ; and why 
depart in the present instance ? Besides, in England, all infor- 
mations of uncustomed or prohibited goods were in the Ex- 
chequer ; so that the custom house officers were the officers of 
that court, under the eye and discretion of the barons, and 
accountable for wanton abuses of power. The writ now prayed 
for is not returnable. If the seizures were so before their hon- 
ors, and this court should inquire into them, they would often 
find a wanton exercise of power. In England, the officers 
seize at their peril, even with probable cause." 2 

James Otis appeared for the inhabitants of Boston ; and his 
speech created an unusual excitement. " I am determined," 
was his avowal, " to my dying day to oppose, with all the 
powers and faculties God has given me, all such instruments 
of slavery, on the one hand, and villany, on the other, as this 
writ of assistance is. I argue in favor of British liberties, at 
a time when we hear the greatest monarch upon earth declaring 
from his throne that he glories in the name of Briton, and that 

1 Hutchinson, iii. 94 ; Minot, ii. 88; 2 Minot, ii. 90, 91. 
Bancroft, iv. 414, 415. 


the privileges of his people are dearer to him than the most chap. 
valuable prerogatives of his crown. I oppose the kind of ^J^ 
power the exercise of which, in former periods of English his- 1761. 
tory, cost one king of England his head and another his throne. 
Let the consequences be what they will, I am determined to 
proceed, and to the call of my country am ready to sacrifice 
estate, ease, health, applause, and even life. The patriot and 
the hero will ever do thus ; and if brought to the trial, it will 
then be known how far I can reduce to practice principles 
which I know to be founded in truth. 

" Special writs may be legal ; and the Court of Exchequer 
may grant such, upon oath made before the lord treasurer by 
those who solicit them. The act of 14 Charles II. conclusively 
proves this. On this ground the present writ, being general, 
is illegal. Every one, with this writ, may be a tyrant ; and if 
this commission be legal, a tyrant, in a legal manner, may also 
control, imprison, or murder any one within the realm. Again, 
the writ is perpetual. No return is to be made ; and he who 
executes it is responsible to no one for his doings. He may 
reign secure in his petty tyranny, and spread terror and deso- 
lation around him until the trump of the archangel shall excite 
different emotions in his soul. Besides, the writ is unlimited. 
The officers may enter all houses at will, and command all to 
assist him. Nay, even his menials may enforce its provisions. 
And what is this but to have the curse of Canaan with a wit- 
ness upon us ? — to be the servant of servants, the most despi- 
cable of God's creation ? 

" The freedom of one's house is an essential branch of Eng- 
lish liberty. A man's house is his castle ; and while he is 
quiet, he is as well guarded as his prince. This writ, if de- 
clared legal, annihilates this privilege. Officers and their 
menials may enter our houses when they please, and we can- 
not resist them. Upon bare suspicion they may institute a 
search. And that this wanton exercise of power is no chimera 
facts fully prove. Reason and the constitution are both 


chap, against this writ. The only authority that can be found for 
> J^_ it is a law enacted in the zenith of arbitrary power, when Star 
1761. Chamber abuses were pushed to extremity by some ignorant 
clerk of the Exchequer. But even if the writ could be else- 
where found, it would be illegal. No act of Parliament can 
establish such a writ. Though it should be made in the very 
words of the petition, it would be void ; for every act against 
the constitution is void." * 

The audience listened with breathless interest to the stream 
of eloquence which, for over four hours, poured from the lips 
of the gifted orator. " Otis," says Adams, who was one of his 
hearers, " was a flame of fire. With a promptitude of classical 
allusions, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical 
events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities, a prophetic 
glance of his eyes into futurity, and a rapid torrent of impet- 
uous eloquence, he hurried away all before him. American 
independence was then and there born. Every man of an 
immense, crowded audience appeared to me to go away, as I 
did, ready to take up arms against writs of assistance." 2 The 
sketches of his speech which have been preserved give but an 
imperfect idea of its volume and meaning. It was an unwrit- 
ten performance, and not easily reported, for the sympathy of 
his hearers was carried with his theme. Yet the fragments we 
possess are certainly powerful ; and we can form some concep- 
tion of the impression the whole must have made. The very 
May. same year the orator was chosen a representative from Boston. 
In the estimation of Hutchinson, he was the " great incendia- 
ry " of New England ; in the estimation of the people, he was 
the guardian of their rights. The inhabitants of Boston were 
alive with excitement. Never before had their feelings been 
so stirred ; never before had a more vital question been dis- 
cussed in their presence. John Adams, borne away by the 
occasion, felt the spirit of resistance welling up in his breast ; 

1 For this celebrated speech, see Adams, App. 523, 524. 
Minot, ii. 91-99 ; Diary of John 2 Allen's Biog. Diet. art. Otis. 


and from that time forward he could never read the Acts of chap 
Trade without anger, " nor any section of them without a Jjj^ 
curse." l 1761. 

Yet the eloquence of Otis did not carry the day. The old 
members of the Superior Court and the "friends of liberty" 
inclined to his side ; but the plausible Hutchinson, determined 
not to yield to the pressure of public opinion, " prevailed with 
his brethren to continue the cause to the next term, and in the 
mean time wrote to England " for definite instructions. The 
answer was in his favor ; and when it came, notwithstanding 
the charge of illegality was untouched, writs of assistance were 
granted by the court whenever the revenue officers applied for 
the same. 2 

Before the controversy was renewed, an ominous change 
took place in the ministry. Pitt, the " great commoner," re- 
signed his office, and the Earl of Egremont became his sue- Oct. 2. 
cessor. 3 The king, bent on securing " to the court the unlim- 
ited and uncontrolled use of its vast influence, under the sole 
direction of its private favor," 4 was seconded in his purpose 
by the Earl of Bute, his obsequious friend and willing tool. 
Pitt was in the way of the accomplishment of this object. His 
unyielding integrity would stoop to no chicanery. Confiding 
in his own judgment, and relying too much, perhaps, on its fal- 
lible dictates, he was unwilling to listen to the suggestions of 
others ; and, by taking decided ground in opposition to the 
wishes of the court, he provoked the enmity of those who 
envied his abilities and hated him for his firmness. His place 
was no longer desirable, and he surrendered the seals into the 
hands of the king. The friends of Bute wished him "joy of 
being delivered of a most impracticable colleague, his majesty 

1 Novanglus, App. 269 ; Bancroft, announcing the resignation of Pitt ; 
XV. 218. Review of Pitt's Administration, 143; 

2 Hutchinson, iii. 96; Bancroft, iv. Grenville Corresp. i. 391, 409; Wal- 
418. pole's George III. i. 80. 

3 Trumbull MSS. ii. 15 ; Letter of 4 Burke's Works, i. 358 ; Bancroft. 
Earl of Egremont of Oct. 19, 1761, iv. 387. 


chap, of a most imperious servant, and the country of a most dan- 
^J^ gerous minister." x But there were not wanting those who 
1761. viewed his withdrawal in a different light. The nation was 
" thunderstruck, alarmed, and indignant ; " the people of 
America, who almost idolized him, heard of his resignation with 
the deepest regret ; and the changes which followed hastened 
the period of conflict with the crown. 

Not immediately did the storm burst, though the clouds were 
gathering and the winds were rising. In this brief interval 
Otis again entered the field as the champion of the people ; 
Sep. 15. and, resenting a stretch of authority in the governor, who had 
presumed to interfere with the rights of the House, by recom- 
mending provisions for the continuance of pay to the crews of 
the vessels employed for the protection of the province, he 
drew up a remonstrance, condemning his conduct as taking 
from the House " their most darling privilege, the right of 
originating all taxes," and as " annihilating," at a blow, " one 
branch of the legislature." 2 In such cases, he urged, it would 
be of little consequence to the people "whether they were 
subject to George or Louis, the King of Great Britain or the 
King of France, if both were arbitrary, as both would be if 
they could levy taxes without Parliament." 

This remonstrance was sent to the governor, but was re- 
turned the same day in a private letter to the speaker, with 
the advice that he should recommend to the House not to enter 
it upon their records without expunging from it that passage 
in which " the king's name was used with a freedom which was 
not decent." Otis resisted this proposal, but at length ex- 
pressed his willingness so far to modify his language as to 
insert the saving clause, " with all due reverence to his majes- 
ty's sacred person and government ; " but the friends of the 
governor cried, " Erase them ! erase them ! " and they were 
ordered to be expunged. Otis defended his course in a pam- 

1 Doddington's Diary ; N. A. Rev. 2 Hutchinson, iii. 97. 
for Oct. 1842 j Bancroft, iv. 412. 


phlet which he published at the close of the session, and the chap 
character of the governor was attacked in the newspapers. 1 ^^^ 

The controversy upon the currency was of minor impor- 1761. 
tance, though it called forth again the energies of Otis. A bill 
was reported, and passed in the House, making gold a legal 
tender in the payment of debts. The council non-concurred. 
A conference ensued ; and, after the subject had been fully dis- 
cussed, the House persisted in adhering to their determination, 
and the Council, as firm, refused to sanction the bill. Yet it 
passed at a subsequent date ; and gold, as well as silver, was 
made a lawful tender. 2 

The speech of Mr. Otis at the conclusion of the French war, 1763. 
and upon the reception of the news that peace had been pro- 
claimed, may be considered as expressing the views of Massa- 
chusetts at that time. " We in America," said he, " have cer- 
tainly abundant reasons to rejoice. The heathen are not only 
driven out, but the Canadians, much more formidable enemies, 
are conquered, and become fellow-subjects. The British do- 
minion and power may now be said, literally, to extend from 
sea to sea, and from the great river to the ends of the earth. 
And we may safely conclude, from his majesty's wise adminis- 
tration hitherto, that liberty and knowledge, civil and religious, 
will be coextended, improved, and preserved to the latest poster- 
ity. No other constitution of civil government has yet appeared 
in the world so admirably adapted to these great purposes as 
that of Great Britain. Every British subject in America is, 
of common right, by acts of Parliament, and by the laws of 
God and nature, entitled to all the essential privileges of 
Britons. By particular charters there are peculiar privileges 
granted, as in justice they might and ought, in consideration 
of the arduous undertaking to begin so glorious an empire as 

1 Otis's Vindication, 15. Hutchin- Evening Post for Dec. 14, 1761 ; Con- 
son, iii. 97, 98, alters the language, siderations on Lowering the Value of 
and with it the sense. Gold Coins ; Hutchinson, iii. 98-100 ; 

2 Hutchinson's Corresp. ii. ; Boston Minot, ii. 102-106. 


chap. British America is rising to. These jealousies, that some weak 
^J^ and wicked minds have endeavored to infuse with regard to 
1763. the colonies, had their birth in the blackness of darkness ; and 
it is great pity they had not remained there forever. The 
true interests of Great Britain and her plantations are mutual ; 
and what God in his providence has united let no man dare 
attempt to pull asunder." 1 

These words, which came from his heart, met with a re- 
sponse as cordial as it was sincere. The loyalty of the colo- 
nists at this date stands unimpeached ; and, doubtless, their 
union with the mother country might have continued much 
longer, had it not been for the misconduct of the counsellors 
of the king. Upon them must rest the responsibility of the 
measures which followed, and not upon the people of the thir- 
teen colonies. 

1 Hutchinson, iii. 101, 102. 



The peace of Paris was as joyously welcomed rn America as chap. 
in England. The seven years' war, which had convulsed the _^^_, 
civilized world, had terminated in favor of the rivals of France, 1763. 

Feb. 7. 

and the bounds of the Gallican empire in the west had been 
largely restricted. Freed from fears of aggressions from the 
north, and at peace with the Indians by a judicious policy, the 
inhabitants of New England and of the other British colonies 
cherished the hope that a brighter day was about to dawn, and 
that an unbounded career of happiness was before them. But, 
though loyal addresses were forwarded to the king, and public 
testimonials of gratitude were offered, the people were destined 
quite early to learn that the very successes which had attended 
the English arms were ominous of evil to them, and that the 
policy which the statesmen of England had long been maturing 
was to be more fully developed, and applied with a rigorous- - 
ness far exceeding any former oppressions. It was unfortunate 
for England that the men who at this time managed her politi- 
cal affairs were lacking in the wisdom, and eschewed the mod- 
deration, which could alone secure to her the benefit of her 
triumphs. Ignorant of the geography of the country and of the 
character of its residents, few were familiar with the history of 
America, and none fully sympathized with, or even comprehend- 
ed, the opinions which prevailed here. Looking at politics from 
a different standpoint, the statesmen of the new world, versed 
in the principles of natural law, demanded, not as a favor, but 
as a matter of justice, equality with their fellow-subjects, and 



chap, exemption from special and unequal legislation. Had a little 
^^ more deference been paid to these claims, or haok the ministers 
1763. of the king consented to listen to the statements of grievances 
sent from these shores, the struggle which issued in the inde- 
pendence of America might, perhaps, have been deferred for a 
season ; for it was not until they were forced to resistance that 
the American people renounced their allegiance to England, 
and declared themselves entitled to the benefits of self-govern- 
ment. 1 

At this period of our history, when a new scene is about 
opening, it may be proper to pause for a moment, and glance 
at the condition and prospects of the province. Massachusetts, 
in 1763, contained a population of two hundred and forty-five 
thousand white persons, and five thousand blacks. 2 There 
were thirteen counties and two hundred and forty towns within 
its limits, including the Province of Maine. The commerce of 
the country employed at least six hundred vessels, chiefly owned 
in Boston and Salem and a few other seaboard towns, which 
were engaged in the fisheries, and in voyages to all parts of 
the civilized world. 3 Domestic manufactures, in some depart- 
ments, were vigorously prosecuted ; in others their progress 
■ had been comparatively trifling. It was never the policy of 
the English government to encourage industry in the colonies ; 
and what was accomplished was accomplished in secret, and by 
stealth, as it were. But it was difficult to repress the energies 

1 " The colonists," writes Otis in MM. H. Coll. iv. 198 ; 2 M. H. 

1764, " know the blood and treasure Coll. ii. 95 ; Holmes's Am. Ann. ii. 

independence would cost. They will 118; Bradford, i. 41; Grahame, ii. 

never think of it till driven to it, as 38. An order was passed by the le- 

the last, fatal resort against ministe- gislature of Great Britain requiring a 

rial oppression, which will make the census to be taken of the inhabitants 

wisest mad and the weakest strong, of the colonies ; but the legislature of 

The world is at the eve of the highest Massachusetts, suspicious of the object 

scene of earthly power and grandeur of this order, delayed complying with 

that has ever yet been displayed to it ; and when a census was taken, the 

the view of mankind. Who will win task was negligently executed. Mass. 

the prize is with God. But human Rec's ; Journal H. of R. 
nature must and will be rescued from 3 Bradford, i. 11, 41. 
the general slavery that has so long 
triumphed over the species." 


of the people ; and, however stringent the legislation which chap. 
rebuked their activity, they had gone on developing their re- N _J^ 
sources, and rendering available, at least for domestic purposes, 1763. 
the produce of their fields and the increase of their flocks. 
Wool was a staple of New as of Old England ; the spinning 
wheel and the loom were found in nearly every dwelling ; and 
the wives and daughters of the farmers of Massachusetts prided 
themselves upon the fabrics which their own industry created, 
and were comfortably clad in garments wrought by their own 
hands, without being compelled to depend upon foreign sup- 
plies. 1 The extent to which these branches were carried it is 
impossible to determine, for the statistics are wanting upon 
which to base a reliable judgment. It can hardly be supposed 
that the imports of the province supplied in full all demands ; 
and, as the inhabitants of New England were noted for their 
thrift, it may be safely computed that the products of their 
own toil exceeded in value the aggregate of their imports ; so 
that the balance of trade, though apparently against them, was 
actually in their favor. Owing to these circumstances, the 
wealth of the country had rapidly increased ; and upon their 
ability to sustain additional draughts upon their resources was 
based the plea for taxing the colonies for the benefit of the 
crown. But to such taxation they were reluctant to submit, 
and the attempt to enforce it was steadily resisted. 

The institutions of learning, founded by the wisdom of the 
first settlers, had advanced with the general advancement of 
society ; and the basis upon which they were established was 
sufficiently liberal to accommodate the different opinions which 

1 The style of living in Boston had view the furniture, which alone cost a 

somewhat improved, and the dwell- thousand pounds sterling. A seat it 

ings of merchants of the wealthiest is for a nobleman, a prince. The Tur- 

class were sumptuously furnished, key carpets, the painted hangings, the 

Thus, John Adams, writing in 1766, marble tables, the rich beds with crim- 

says, " Thursday. Dined at Mr. Nich. son damask curtains and counterpanes, 

Boylston's, with the two Mr. Boyl- the beautiful chimney clock, the spa- 

stons, two Mr. Smiths, Mr. Hallowell, cious garden, are the most magnifi- 

and their ladies — an elegant dinner cent of any thing I have ever seen." 

indeed ! "Went over the house to Diary, in Works, ii. 179. 

VOL. II. 18 


chap, prevailed. A controversy had arisen relative to Harvard Col- 
^^ lege ; but the struggle terminated in favor of the opinions 
1763. advocated by such men as Mayhew and Chauncy. 1 The Puri- 
tan clergy, indeed, had lost little of their reverence for the 
creed of Geneva, and were disposed to exert their utmost 
power for the propagation of Christianity as they understood 
it. Their piety retained traces of its original asceticism ; and, 
naturally conservative, it was with forebodings of evil that 
they witnessed the prevalence of more liberal views. The 
encroachments of episcopal power, viewed always with jeal- 
ousy, awakened a controversy of remarkable virulence ; both 
parties, in their eagerness to defend their own side of the ques- 
tion, transgressed the bounds of equitable moderation ; and 
mutual recriminations and reproaches ensued. 2 Yet the genial 
spirit which the diffusion of knowledge usually awakens was 
fast wearing away the sharper angles of the Puritan creed, and 
smoothing the austerity of the Puritan manners ; so that, before 
the opening of the war of the revolution, Unitarian views had 
become somewhat prevalent, and Murray had advocated the 
doctrines of free grace. The religious element, ever prominent 
in the New England character, had lost little of its vigor ; 
and, though forms of faith had 'been essentially modified, the 
progress of society in spiritual affairs had kept pace with its 
social and intellectual progress. The press, the great engine 
of civilization, which one of the journals of the day proudly 
appealed to as " the test of truth, the bulwark of public safety, 
and the guardian of freedom." 3 was permanently established ; 
and the publishing houses of Boston, though by no means nu- 
merous, were extensively engaged in diffusing the productions 
of native and foreign authors. 4 But few newspapers were 

1 Quincy's Hist. H. Coll. A por- 2 Minot, ii. ; Grahame. ii. 350, 351. 
tion of the college buildings at Cam- 3 Connecticut Commercial Gazette 

bridge were destroyed by fire on the for Nov. 1, 1765, the day on which 

night of the 24th "of January, 1764. the stamp act was to go into effect. 
Mass. Gaz. for Feb. 2, 1764 ; Mass. 4 See Thomas's Hist, of Printing, 

Rec's; Journal H. of R. ; Quincy's Buckingham's Reminiscences, Drake's 

Hist. ; Pierce's Hist. Boston, &c. 


issued in Massachusetts, and the number in New England was chap 
not very large. 1 There are no definite statistics of the number v _JJ^ w 
of volumes annually printed ; but several editions of popular 1763. 
works were circulated ; and the people of the province, always 
a reading people, were deeply interested in every thing relating 
to politics or religion. The speeches of Otis, and the ad- 
dresses of the General Court, were sent out into every town ; 
and the writings of Chauncy, of Mayhew, and of Edwards 
were scattered in every village, and read in every house. 

Upon the Sabbath, which was consecrated to the worship of 
God, the churches of New England, full five hundred and thirty 
in number, 2 were thronged with worshippers ; for few staid 
at home who were able to attend. The clergy, whose interest 
in political affairs had ever been great, discussed from their 
pulpits topics of public concern ; on all occasions where a 
" word fitly spoken " might give tone to the sentiments of the 
people, they were prompt to offer their counsel ; and no men, 
probably, did more than they to carry on successfully the work 
of the revolution. 3 

The facilities of communication had also been enlarged ; and 
intelligence of stirring events was rapidly disseminated through 
the medium of "posts," which travelled regularly from Boston 
to other towns. The fnterests of different parts of the country 
were not fully identified ; but the interchange of opinion was 
wearing away ancient prejudices ; a community of wants and a 
community of sufferings were assimilating their feelings ; and 
the consciousness that bickerings and dissensions would but 
alienate and distract inclined many to hope for a more perfect 
union. The spirit of former days — that spirit of freedom, and 
of loyalty to liberty, which the tyranny of England had been > 
unable to crush — was reviving. " Liberty " was the watch- - 
word in every one's mouth. And the energy it imparts to a 

1 See Thomas's Hist, of Printing ; 2 Holmes, Grahame, Hildreth. 
Buckingham's Reminiscences, the 3 Holmes, Am. Ann. ii. ; Grahame. 
Mass. Hist. Colls. ii. 341, 342. 


chap, nation's genius had inspired the gifted to advocate its claims. 

^J^ If, in some places, there were those who inclined to moder- 
1763. ate counsels, and if the supporters of the prerogative encour- 
aged compliance with the demands of the crown, 1 the people 
at large, though loyal, were jealous of invasions of their char- 
ter and its privileges ; discussed with great freedom the pro- 
jects of the ministry; and expressed with much fearlessness 
their dissent from measures conceived to be an encroachment 
upon their natural rights. 

The first step which awakened opposition was the revival 
of the project for raising a revenue from the colonies, to be dis- 
posed of by the ministry at the pleasure of the king. The 
debt of the English government, at the close of the war, 
amounted in the aggregate to one hundred and forty millions 
of pounds sterling, of which seventy millions were borrowed. 2 
For relief from the burden of this debt, of which all classes 
complained, especially the landholders, who were most deeply 
affected by it, it was authoritatively announced that it was 
* " just and necessary that a revenue be raised in his majesty's 
dominions in America for defraying the expenses of defending, 
protecting, and securing the same." 3 How this was to be ac- 
complished will appear hereafter ; but the first charge upon 
this revenue, partly effected at this time, and favored by Go^ 
ernor Bernard in his later letters, 4 was to be the civil list, by 
which ail officers, both executive and judicial, to be independ- 
ent of the provincial legislatures, were to be appointed by the 
king ; and the next charge was to be the support of an army 
of twenty regiments, or ten thousand men, who were to be kept 

1 The following passage from a let- [Governor Bernard] is in some meas- 

ter of Hutchinson to Bollan, dated ure convinced that this is true, and I 

November 15, 1762, in MS. Corresp. hope will be more so." 

vol. ii., shows his views. "A governor 2 Walpole's George III. i. 388; 

in the plantations," says he, " must Macaulay's England, iii. ; Bradford, i. 

support those who are friendly to gov- 1 1. 

eminent, or they cannot long support 3 Grahame, ii. 370 ; Bancroft, v. 32. 

themselves against their enemies. He 4 Bancroft, v. 148, 149, notes. 


up as a peace establishment, nominally for the defence of the chap 
country, but in reality to enforce the king's instructions. 1 

That measures so radical, revolutionizing the government of 1763. 
the colonies, sweeping away their charters, and asserting the 
unlimited authority of Parliament, should have awakened the 
most serious apprehensions, will be surprising to no one ac- 
quainted with the spirit of the people. New York openly 
remonstrated ; and Massachusetts, unwearied in her opposition 
to tyranny, bitterly inveighed against the blindness which had 
seized upon the advisers of the king. 2 

Early in March, Charles Townshend, who, at the instance of Mar. 19. 
Bute and with the concurrence of the king, had taken the place Feb. 23. 
of Lord Sandys at the head of the Board of Trade, 3 and who 
was distinguished for his impetuous temper, and for his dispo- 
sition to make " thorough work of it with the colonies/ 7 brought 
forward in the House of Commons the scheme, agreed upon by 
the committee of which he was a member, for raising a revenue 
from the plantations by Parliament. By this scheme, the duty 
of six per cent., formerly levied on molasses imported from the 
Spanish colonies and the West Indies, was to be reduced to 
two per cent. ; but the bill which was reported failed to pass. 4 

1 Mauduit's Lett, to the Speaker 613, 617, 622, 623, 630, 633, 665, it 
of the H. of R, March 12, 1763; appears that, March 19, 1763, resolves 
Commons Journal, xxv. 506 ; Gra- were presented by Alderman Dickin- 
hame, ii. 367; Bancroft, v. 83-88, son, extending the acts of 6, 11, 19, 
notes. To the establishment of an 26, 29, and 31 Geo. II., and 1 Geo. 
army in the colonies it was objected, III., "for the better securing and en- 
that such an army was unnecessary couraging the trade to his majesty's 
" even to preserve the obedience of sugar colonies in America," to Sep- 
our English subjects to the crown of tember 29, 1764, and thence to the 
Great Britain ; " and that, if it was de- end of the next session of Parliament ; 
signed to secure the new possessions, also extending to May 25, 1770, the 
the " original colonies should not be acts of 21 and 28 Geo. II., for en- 
taxed for the same." The Necessity couraging the making of indigo in the 
of Repealing the Stamp Act demon- British plantations in America ; and 
strated, pp. 12, 13. bills were ordered to be brought in in 

2 Bancroft, v. 84. accordance with these resolves. The 

3 Mauduit's Lett, to Sec. Oliver, bill for the latter purpose was pre- 
March 12, 1763. sented by the same gentleman March 

4 Mauduit's Lett, to Oliver, March 21, and ordered to a second reading. 
23, 1763. From the Commons Jour- On the 23d it was read a second time, 
nal, xxix. 597, 599, 603, 606, 609, and referred to a committee of the 


chap. Grenville, not behind Townshend in his zeal to promote the 
s ^^J^ maritime greatness of England, contemplated an addition to 

1763. this scheme : and before the end of the month leave was grant- 
Mar. 24. 

' ed to bring in a bill " for the further improvement of his majes- 
ty's revenue of the customs," which provided that all officers 
of British ships of war stationed upon the American coast 
should act as officers of the customs, and receive a share of the 
cargoes confiscated for violation of the revenue laws. This bill 
Mar. 30. was read the second time in the following week, and referred 
Apr. 12. to a committee of the whole ; and in the ensuing month it was 
Apr. 18. passed by the House, agreed to by the Lords, and approved by 
the king. 1 

Before any thing definite was effected, however, a change 
took place in the ministry ; and, after some difficulty, a new 
April 8. cabinet was formed. George Grenville took the place of Bute 
at the head of the treasury and the exchequer ; the Earl of 
Egremont and Lord Halifax became the two secretaries of 
state ; and Charles Jenkinson, the able and indefatigable sec- 
retary of Bute, was retained under Grenville as principal sec- 
retary of the treasury. 2 

But the new ministry, styled by some " the Athanasian ad- 
ministration," and laughed at by the people as a "sort of 
Cerberus," a " three-headed monster, quieted by being gorged 
with patronage and office," 3 found itself powerless to rule the 
storm which lowered in the horizon. The chief minister, in- 

whole, to be considered the next day. 623, 629, 630, 633, 665 ; Minot, ii. 
On the 30th the bill was ordered to 138 ; Bancroft, v. 88. 
be engrossed, and in the following 2 Grenville Corresp. ii. 32-41 ; 
month, April 12 to 19, it was approved "Walpole's George III. i. 271 ; Allan's 
by the Lords and the king. On March Anns, of George III. i. 28 ; Lord 
24 the supply bill, covering the mat- Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 25-29 ; Ban- 
ters referred to in the first resolve, was croft, v. 96-102. Jenkinson after- 
reported by Alderman Dickinson, and wards rose to be Earl of Liverpool, 
read the first time. On the 28th, it and his son to be prime minister of 
was resolved to go into committee of England. Mahon's Hist Eng. v. 21. 
the whole on Wednesday to consider 3 "Wilkes to Earl Temple, in Gren- 
this bill ; and on the 30th it was post- ville Corresp. ii. 81. Lord Mahon, 
poned. Hist. Eng. v. 34, characterizes Gren- 
1 Commons Journal, xxix. 609, ville as "an excellent speaker spoiled." 


deed, still pushed forward his favorite plans ; yet in justice to chap. 
him it should be said that it does not appear, from contempo- ^^ 
rary records, that he entered upon them with sinister in ten- 1763. 
tions, but advocated the taxation of the colonies as a measure 
of justice, indispensable to the welfare and prosperity of Eng- 
land. 1 In the person of Richard Jackson, his private secretary 
as chancellor of the exchequer, he possessed an able adviser, 
distinguished for his frankness, uprightness, and fidelity, and 
perfectly acquainted with American affairs. Had Grenville 
consented to listen to his remonstrances against the proposed 
measures, doubts of their expediency might, perhaps, have been 
raised in his mind ; but, relying on his own judgment, and fol- 
lowing its promptings, he became the more resolute the more 
obstacles he encountered. 2 

In the following month the advice of the lords of trade was May 5. 
asked concerning American affairs, the " principal object of 
consideration" with the ministry. The questions proposed to 
those lords were, I. What new governments shall be estab- 
lished, what forms shall be adopted for them, and where shall 
the residence of the governors be fixed ? II. What military 
establishments will be requisite, what new forts shall be erect- 
ed, and what old forts shall be demolished ? And, III. " In 
what mode, least burdensome and most palatable to the colo- 
nies, can they contribute towards the support of the additional 
expense which must attend this civil and military establish- 
ment ? " 3 The Earl of Shelburne, who was at the head of the 
Board of Trade, and who was an Irish as well as an English 
peer, was naturally inclined to limit the authority of Parlia- 
ment over the outlying dominions of the crown, and in his 
answer declined to implicate himself in the plans for taxing 
America. 4 But the Earl of Egremont was not to be shaken 
in his purpose ; nor was Grenville intimidated. Both of these 

1 Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 34 j 3 Bancroft, v. 107, 108, note. 
Bancroft, v. 106. 4 Bancroft, v. 134-136. 

8 Bancroft, v. 106. 


chap, gentlemen favored the project of taxation ; and to Jenkinson 
^^^ was assigned the duty of preparing the' business for Parlia- 
1763. ment. 1 The stamp act was not openly included in this project ; 
and Grenville professed an unwillingness to urge, nay, he even 
declared that he should have esteemed himself " unpardonable " 
had he " thought of, this measure, without having previously 
» made every possible inquiry into the condition of America." 2 

Hence information of the state of public feeling was pro- 
posed to be sought from the colonial governors, and others in 
whom he had confidence ; 3 but before any decision was reached 
Aug.29. Egremont died ; Lord Shelburne withdrew from his post ; and 
Sept. 9. the Bedford and Grenville parties formed an alliance with 
Halifax as the secretary of the southern department, and the 
Earl of Hillsborough, like Shelburne an Irish as well as an 
English peer, as the head of the Board of Trade. 4 

Immediately upon the establishment of this ministry, Gren- 
ville, as lord treasurer, renewed the attempt for the passage 
Btsp. 22. of a revenue bill ; and, meeting with Lord North and Mr. 
Hunter at the board room in Downing Street, a minute was 
adopted, directing Jenkinson to " write to the commissioners 
of the stamp duties to prepare a draught of a bill to be pre- 
sented to Parliament for extending the stamp duties to the 

1 Bancroft, v. 136. without bribery and corruption they 

2 Grenville, in Cavendish, i. 494 ; must starve. If the fanatics of the 
Bancroft, v. 136, note. present age will not admit of a reform 

3 Possibly Hutchinson was one of in this respect, perhaps the provision 
those consulted, as he writes to Rich- now made may be the next best pro- 
ard Jackson, September 2, 1763, "For cedure. I wish success to it." MS. 
my part, I hare always wished, whilst Corresp. ii. 

I was in trade myself, for some effec- 4 Grenville Corresp. ii. 93-99, 104 

tual measures to put a stop to all con- -112, 115-123, 193-207 ; Walpple's 

traband trade ; but I have always George III. i. 288-295 ; Lord Orford's 

thought it might have been done Mems. i. 288 j Lord Mahon's Hist. 

without any further provision by the Eng. v. 36 et seq. ; Bancroft, v. 138- 

Parliament. The real cause of the 148. " Thus," says Walpole, " from 

illicit trade in this province has been a strange concurrence of jarring cir- 

the indulgence of the officers of the cumstances, there sprang out of great 

customs ; and we are told that the weakness a strong and cemented min- 

cause of this indulgence has been that istry, who all acquiesced in the pre- 

they have been quartered upon for dominant power of Grenville." 
more than their legal fee, and that 

THE STAMP ACT. 28 1 *. 

colonies." The next day Jenkinson attended to this duty, and chap. 
'the stamp act was draughted to be presented to Parliament. 1 s _^ w 
It must be owned that this measure, now for the first time 1763. 
distinctly brought forward, was not, at the outset, seriously 
opposed by the colonial agents in London. Knox, of Georgia, 
publicly defended the act, as "least liable to objection ; " 2 and 
Jasper Mauduit, the agent of Massachusetts, through his broth- 
er, Israel Mauduit, not only gave to it the weight of his influ- 
ence, but promised for his constituents a " cheerful submission." 3 
Richard Jackson alone, the secretary of Grenville, had the 
courage to oppose the proposition, and refused to take part in 
preparing or supporting it. 4 But Jenkinson, the secretary of 
the treasury, gave different counsel, and was listened to in 
preference because his advice fell in with the preconceived 
notions of the minister. For Grenville, the die was cast ; and 
whatever odium might attach to the measure, he was prepared 
to assume it. Nor is it unjust to impute to him the paternity 
of the act. He " brought it into form." It was deliberately 
adopted by him. And, from his official position, the burden of 
sustaining it must rest on his shoulders. 5 He believed it to 
be founded on " the true principles of policy, of commerce, and 
of finance ; " and, as it was his highest ambition to frame a 
" well-digested, consistent, wise, and salutary plan of coloniza- 
tion and government," the stamp act was fostered as its basis 
and ultimatum, as the " one thing needful " to give to it vitality. 6 
The minister knew that the act would be unpalatable ; and no 
sooner were his orders issued to the officers of the customs in Oct 
the colonies to assume their posts, with " new and ample in- 
structions enforcing in the strongest manner the strictest atten- 

• Treasury Minutes, Sept. 22, 1763 ; 4 Letter to Jared Ingersoll, March 

Jenkinson's Lett, of Sept. 23, 1763 ; 22, 1766, in IngersolTs Letters, 43 ; 

Bancroft, v. 151, and notes. Bancroft, v. 155. 

2 See his pamphlet, published at 5 Burke's Speech on Amer. Taxa- 
London in 1765, entitled "The Claim tion; Conduct of the late Administra- 
of the Colonies to an Exemption from tion examined, 77 ; Bancroft, v. 156. 
Internal Tax, &c; considered," p. 2. 6 Regulations concerning the Col- 

3 Gordon's Am. Rev. i. 158. onies, 5, 114 j Bancroft, v. 157. 


chap, tion to their duty," than the consequences which were foreseen 
> _J^_ began to be developed. The " restraint and suppression of 

1763. practices which had long prevailed w could not but " encounter 
great difficulties in such distant parts of the king's dominions," 

Oct. 4. so that the whole force of the royal authority was invoked in 
aid. And when orders were issued to the commander-in-chief 
in America, that the troops under his command should " give 
their assistance to the officers of the revenue for the effectual 
suppression of contraband trade," and when Admiral Colville 
and his subordinate officers qualified themselves for their new 
and distinguished duties as excisemen and tidewaiters, and 
entered upon their discharge, the whole country was aroused ; 
the proceedings of the officers were bitterly denounced ; the 
colonists, subjected to vexatious delays and expenses, were 
stung nearly to madness ; and prudence alone, probably, pre- 
vented them from showing their resentment more openly by 
forcibly resisting such proceedings. 1 

In this posture of affairs, the action of the General Court 
was prompt and decided ; and a committee of the House, upon 
a memorial of the merchants of Boston, Plymouth, Marblehead, 

1764. Salem, and Newbury, presented a report, with instructions to 
Mr. Mauduit to labor for the repeal of the obnoxious sugar 
act, and to exert himself to prevent the passage of the stamp 
act, " or any other impositions or taxes upon this or the other 
American colonies." 2 It was not upon " mere speculative 
points in government " that people now took sides ; nor is 
it true that there was " nothing in practice which could give 
any grounds for forming parties." It was with good cause 
that the " officers of the crown, and especially all officers of the 
customs, were considered as engaged in measures more restric- 
tive of the natural rights and liberties of the people than the 

1 Grahame, ii. 368; Bancroft, v. lowing month. Boston Gazette for 

362. Proclamations against the clan- Jan. 5, 12, and 26, 1764. 
destine importation of goods were 2 Mass. Bee's ; Journal H. of R. 

issued December 26, 1763, and pub- for 1764, p. 182; Minot, ii. 140, 148, 
lished in the newspapers of the fol- 


ends for which government was instituted made necessary." chap. 
Royalists might content themselves with saying, " We have the ^^_ 
law on our side," and they might sneer at the " squibs " which 1754. 
were " thrown at their general characters in newspapers, hand- 
bills, &c. ; " 1 but the anger of the people which vented itself 
in these ways was called forth by the manifest unconstitution- 
ality of the measures of which they complained ; and Otis 
came forward again as the champion of their rights, which he 
vindicated in a pamphlet of signal ability. 2 

As the position of Mr. Mauduit was somewhat equivocal, 
and but feeble hopes were entertained of his exerting himself 
resolutely to stay the progress of oppressive legislation, it was 
proposed, before the adjournment of the General Court, to Jan 
choose a new agent, to be joined with him in remonstrating 
with the ministry ; and the choice fell upon Thomas Hutchin- 
son, the lieutenant governor, who by his complaisance had re- 
gained the favor of the people, and who was apparently sincere 
in his professions of regard to the liberties of his country. 
The vote in his favor was nearly unanimous ; but as it was 
intimated by Governor Bernard that it would be improper for 
him to be absent from the province without permission, — ■ an 
opinion in which he seemed to acquiesce, — the House, much 
to his chagrin, voted to excuse him from serving as agent ; and Feb. 1, 
thenceforth, satisfied that he had little to expect from the prov- 
ince, the current of his feelings turned into a new channel ; 
and, like the " waiters upon Providence " of the age of Crom- 
well, " he deemed it a high delinquency towards Heaven if he 
afforded countenance to any cause longer than it was favored 
by fortune." 3 

1 Hutchinson, iii. 103. dent from the writings even of those 

2 His Rights of the Colonies, who differed from him in opinion. 
Comp. Hutchinson, MS. Corresp. ii. " Has not his merit," says John Ad- 
76, 77; Minot, ii. 143; Novanglus, ams, (Diary, in Works, ii. 189,) "been 
283. sounded very high by his countrymen 

3 MS. Corresp. of Hutchinson, pas- for twenty years ? Have not his coun- 
sim. That Hutchinson, at one time, trymen loved, admired, revered, re- 
stood high in the public favor, is evi- warded, nay, almost adored him ? 


At the opening of the spring the scheme of Granville for 
the passage of the stamp act was renewed. But, though there 
were many who favored the scheme both in Parliament and 
out, the Americans in London, with very few exceptions, de- 
nied both the justice and the right of Parliament to impose 
such a tax while the colonies were unrepresented in that body. 
Nor were there wanting " members of the House of Commons n 
who " declared against the stamp duty while it was a mere 
matter of conversation ; " Pitt had steadily and uniformly op- 
posed it ; and even Lord Hillsborough, the first lord of trade, 
signified his dissent. 1 It was not, therefore, a measure which 
seemed likely to pass without debate ; nor could the minister 
deny the force of the objections urged by the colonies. Yet, 
determined not to falter, Granville persisted in adhering to his 
policy. But one point would he concede ; and this he was 
induced to yield at the urgent request of Thomas Penn, one 
of the principal proprietors of Pennsylvania, William Allen, 
the chief justice of the same province, and Richard Jackson, 
his own private secretary. Declaring that, in their judgment, 
the proposed stamp duty was " an internal tax," and that it 
would be better to " wait till some sort of consent to it shall 
be given by the several assemblies, to prevent a tax of that 
nature from being levied without the consent of the colonies," 2 
Granville so far listened to these representations as to consent, 

Have not ninety-nine in a hundred of never saw, nor heard, nor read of such 

them really thought him the greatest a man ? a sort of apotheosis, like that 

man in America ? Has not the per- of Alexander and that of Caesar while 

petual language of many members of they lived." 

both Houses, and of a majority of his l Hutchinson, iii. 116 ; Bancroft, v. 

brother counsellors, been, that Mr. 181. " It was the fate of the times," 

Hutchinson is a great man — a pious, says Walpole, George HI. ii. 71, 72, 

a wise, a learned, a good man, an em- " to stir questions which, for the hap- 

inent saint, a philosopher, &c, the piness of the whole, had better have 

greatest man in the province, the slept in oblivion. From this moment 

greatest on the continent, &c. ? Nay, nothing was heard from America but 

have not the affection and admiration questions of the right of taxation." 
of his countrymen arisen so high as 2 Grenville Corresp. ii. 393 ; Mass. 

often to style' him the greatest and Gazette for May 10, 1764 ; Bancroft, 

best man in the world j that they v. 183. 


" out of tenderness to the colonies," to postpone the tax for chap. 
one year. His views had not changed ; and this consent was ^J^ 
but a politic stroke to furnish hereafter additional pretexts for 1754. 
urging his scheme. He was fully aware that the measure, if 
carried, must be carried by force. The approval of the colo- 
nies he neither sought nor expected. It was enough for him 
if the scheme was favored at home ; for, in his estimation, its 
enforcement was essential to the welfare of the nation, and 
would be attended with incalculable benefits to its commerce. 
Hence all his energies were bent to this point. He had com- 
mitted himself too far to recede ; and his only care was to 
smooth the way for the success of his plans, with which his 
own triumph was closely identified. 

Two steps taken by Grenville at this time were designed to 
conciliate the northern colonies. The bounties on hemp and 
flax, first granted in the reign of Anne, were revived ; 1 and 
encouragement was given to the prosecution of the whale fish- 
ery, in which the ships of New England were largely engaged. 2 
But the bait thus thrown out proved ineffectual to lure the 
people into the net which had been spread for them. The min- 
ister's own course, indeed, was sufficient to convince them that 
for all favors conferred he expected an equivalent ; for, besides 
giving notice of his intention in the next session to bring in a Mar. d. 
bill imposing stamp duties in America, a bill was reported by 
Jenkinson, at his instance, providing that duties be laid on Mar. 14 
various enumerated foreign commodities, as coffee, indigo, 
pimento, French and East India goods, and wines from Ma- 
deira, Portugal, and Spain, imported into the British colonies 

1 3 and 4 Anne, ex.; 8 Anne, c. of London relative to the whale fish- 
xiii. § 30 ; 12 Anne, c. ix. ; Mass. Ga- ery was presented February 24, 1764, 
zette for July 5, 1764 ; Commons reported upon February 29, and re- 
Jour, xxix. 995, 1011, 1035, 1040, ferred to a committee of the whole. 
1041. In the ensuing month a bill was re- 

2 4 Geo. EX c. xxix. ; Debates in ported, discussed, passed, and ap- 
Parl. iv. 213; Regulations concerning proved. Commons Jour. xxix. 877, 
the Colonies, 49-51; Mass. Gazette 8S5, 912, 946, 953, 956, 977, 986, 
for May 10, 1764. The petition of 994, 995, 1004, 1015, 1018, 1023, 
the merchants of New England and 1028, 1031, 1056. 



chap, and plantations in America, and upon other articles, the prod- 
^J^jice of the colonies, exported to any other place than Great 
1764. Britain ; that a duty of threepence per gallon be laid on mo- 
lasses and sirups, and an additional duty of twenty-two shillings 
per hundred weight upon white sugars, of the growth of any 
foreign American plantation, imported into the British colo- 
nies ; and that the income of this last duty should be paid 
into his majesty's exchequer, to be disposed of by Parliament 
towards " defraying the necessary expenses of defending, pro- 
tecting, and securing the British colonies and plantations in 
America." The bill thus brouglit forward was rapidly pushed 
through its several stages, and, after some slight amendments, 
April 4. was agreed to by the Lords, and approved by the king. For 
' the enforcement of its provisions, the jurisdiction of the Vice 
Admiralty Courts was enlarged ; and penalties for any breaches 
of the act were made recoverable in these courts, either in the 
colony in which the offence was committed or in any other, at 
the election of the informer. 1 

1 Acts 4 Geo. IE. c. xv. ; Debates 
in Pari. iv. 207 et seq. ; Hutchinson, 
iii. 108 ; Mass. Gazette for May 10, 
1764; Minot, ii. 155 ; Holmes's Ann. 
ii. 125, &c. The history of this bill 
is as follows : February 9, 1764, re- 
solves were presented that the laws 
relative to encouraging the trade of 
the sugar colonies, and the liberty to 
carry sugars to foreign parts, were fit 
to be continued ; but, though a bill 
was ordered to be brought in upon 
the latter subject, the former was post- 
poned. March 1, an account of wines 
and East India goods exported to 
America ordered to be brought in ; 
also, of foreign cambrics, and French 
lawns, and of the quantity of tea, 
which was done March 5. On the 
same day, extracts from papers rela- 
tive to American trade were present- 
ed by Lord Carysfort, pursuant to his 
majesty's address; and, on the 9th, 
*urther extracts, from messages of the 
colonial governors, were presented by 
Lord Charles Spencer, and laid upon 

the table. These were the preparatory 
steps ; and, March 9, in committee of 
the whole, the resolves of February 9, 
which were postponed, were called up, 
and, with the preceding documents, 
and papers for preventing contraband 
trade, &c, referred to a committee. 
On the 10th Mr. Whateley presented 
their report, imposing duties on cof- 
fee, indigo, wines, &c, making the 
sugar act perpetual from and after 
September 29, 1764, and imposing a 
duty of 3d. sterling in money on mo- 
lasses, sirups, &c, the income of which 
was to be paid into the exchequer. 
Bills were ordered to be brought in 
in accordance with this report, with a 
clause to prevent clandestine exporta- 
tion and importation ; and a bill for 
charging " certain stamp duties in the 
said colonies and plantations." On 
the 13th Mr. Whateley, from the 
committee on ways and means, re- 
ported certain resolves relative to the 
colonies, upon which bills were or- 
dered. On the 16th the bill on Amer- 


Thus the scheme of taxation which Grenville had long cher- chap 
ished, and which Bernard approved, — that scheme which is ^^ 
said to have been " in conformity to uninterrupted precedent 1764 
for near a hundred years," * — was fairly begun. Its very 
audacity is a sufficient proof of the perversity of its patrons. 
How it would be received by the colonies few stopped to 
inquire. From the character of the state papers which had 
crossed the Atlantic, it was supposed that the spirit of the peo- - 
pie would be easily tamed, and that all that was necessary to 
secure submission was a vigorous administration, backed by an 
appeal to military force in case of resistance. 

The news that the sugar act had passed was not long in June 
reaching America ; and there was "not a man on the continent 
who did not consider it a sacrifice made of the northern colo- 
nies to the superior interest in Parliament of the West Indies." 2 
Before this date, the town of Boston, at its annual meeting, May 28. 
passed, at the instance of Samuel Adams, a series of resolves 
instructing its representatives what course to pursue, and rec- 
ommended an appeal to " the other North American colonies " 
to add the weight of their protest to " that of this province, 

ican duties was read a second time, "Walpole, Mems. George HI. ii. 70, 

and referred to a committee of the " to raise the revenue by imposing 

whole. On the 20th persons were taxes on America ; but that minister, 

sent for to attend this committee ; and who could foresee beyond the actual 

on the 22d, the supply bill being again moment, declared it must be a bolder 

under consideration, with Mr. Whate- man than himself who should venture 

ley in the chair, other persons were on such an expedient. That man was 

ordered to attend. Thus the matter found in Grenville, who, great hi dar- 

continuecl along until the 30th, when ing and little in views, was charmed 

the bill was read the third time, and to have an untrodden field before him 

ordered to be engrossed. It was of calculation and experiment." 
agreed to by the Lords April 4, and 2 Mass. Gazette for May 10, 1764; 

approved by the king April 5. Com- Weare's Lett, in 1 M. H. Coll. i. 83. 

mons Jour. xxix. 825, 889, 890, 904, " These colonies," says the Mass. Ga- 

907, 909, 933-935, 940, 945, 958, zette, " are under verv great disadvan- 

968, 979, 981 ; 983, 987, 1015, 1027, tages in not being sufficiently interest- 

1029. ed in Parliament ; for the want of 

1 Conduct of the late Administra- which the West Lidies have been able 

tion examined, p. 7 ; Debates in Pari, to carry every point against them, and 

iv. 251, note. " It had been proposed their interests are almost totally dis- 

to Sir Robert Walpole," says Horace regarded." 


chap, that, by united application, we may happily obtain redress." 1 

^^ The General Court, of which the Council was the conservative 
1764. branch, had hitherto maintained a decorous reserve in its ap- 
peals to the ministry, and had only suggested that the passage 
of such acts would be esteemed a grievance, and that the com- 
merce of the country, already overburdened, would be forced 
into unnatural channels. 2 But now that it was compelled to 
take stronger grounds, a " Statement of the Rights of the Col- 
onies " was prepared by James Otis, and the " Sentiments of a 
British American" were published by Oxenbridge Thacher. 3 

Jun. 13. A new letter of instructions was also draughted to be sent to 
Mr. Mauduit, the tone of which indicates the feelings that pre- 
vailed. " If all the colonies," say they, " are to be taxed at 
pleasure, without any representation in Parliament, what will 
there be to distinguish them, in point of liberty, from the sub- 
jects of the most absolute prince ? Every charter privilege 
may be taken from us by an appendix to a money bill, which, it 
seems by the rules on the other side of the water, must not at 
any rate be petitioned against. To what purpose will opposi- 
tion to any resolutions of the ministry be, if they are passed 
with such rapidity as to render it impossible for us to be ac- 
quainted with them before they have received the sanction of 
an act of Parliament ? A people may be free, and tolerably 
happy, without a particular branch of trade ; but, without the 
privilege of assessing their own taxes, they can be neither." 4 

Jun. u. In accordance with the proposal of the representatives of 
Boston, a committee was appointed to correspond with the 
other colonies. James Otis, Thomas Gushing, Oxenbridge 
Thacher. Thomas Gray, and Edward Sheafe were the members 
of this committee ; and circulars were sent throughout the 
country, in which the dangers that menaced " their most essen- 

1 Mass. Gazette for May 31, 1764; 3 These were both published in 
Hutchinson, iii. 107 ; Bradford, i. 18- Boston, in June, 1764. 

20; Bancroft, v. 194, 197. 4 Minot, ii. 169-175; Bradford, i. 

2 Mass. Rec's; Jour. H. of R. 21, 22; Bancroft, v. 198. 


tial rights " were set forth, and the " united assistance " of all chap. 
was desired to obtain a repeal of obnoxious acts, and to ^^ 
" prevent a stamp act, or any other impositions and taxes, upon 1764. 
this and the other American provinces." 1 

As may well be supposed, neither Bernard nor Hutchinson 
was particularly pleased with these proceedings ; and Hutch- 
inson, especially, censured the " madness " of the House in 
inserting on their journal the letter to their agent. 2 But the 
people viewed the controversy differently, and, excited by the 
eloquence of their favorite orators, censured the " madness " 
of the ministry, which, in their estimation, exceeded their own. 
A recourse to arms was neither thought of nor advised, for 
forcible resistance was acknowledged to be treasonable. More 
peaceable measures were adopted ; and a system of retrench- 
ment of unnecessary expenditures was entered upon, and ad- 
hered to until the struggle had ended. 3 

The expedient of the governor, to embarrass the action of 
the General Court, was to prorogue that body from one month 
to another. But the clamor against him became so violent 
that he was compelled to accede to the wishes of the people, 
and the assembly was convened for the transaction of business. Oct. 18. 
It was suspected, — and, as it afterwards appeared, not without 

1 Hutchinson, iii. 1 10 ; Minot, ii. the inhabitants of New England pride 
175 ; Bradford, i. 29 ; Bancroft, v. themselves more than any other peo- 
200. pie upon earth in that spirit of free- 

2 " You allow," writes Hutchinson, dom Avhich first made their ancestors 
July 11, "that it is possible for Par- leave their native country and settle 
liament to pass acts which may abridge there, and do really, as individuals, 
British subjects of what are generally enjoy more independency, from sev- 
called natural rights.; and I am willing eral peculiar circumstances in their 
to go further, and will suppose that in manners, laws, and situation, it is nat- 
some cases it is reasonable and neces- ural to conceive that, upon the first 
sary, even though such rights should apprehension (whether justly founded 
have been strengthened and confirmed or not makes no difference) of any 
61/ the most solemn sanctions and en- invasion of that freedom, they should 
gagementsy MS. Corresp. ii. 90. take fire, and sacrifice to resentment 

3 Resolves of the People of Boston, — may I not say to virtuous princi- 
in Mass. Gazette, Supp't. for Sept. 13, pie? — the passions whose gratifica- 
1764. Says the author of Observa- tion consumed their articles of com- 
tions on the Present State, &c, of the merce and luxury, and confine them- 
British Colonies, pub. in 1769, " As selves to mere necessaries." 

VOL. n. 19 - 


chap, cause, — that, during this interval, the pen of his excellency, as 
_J^_ well as that of Mr. Hutchinson, 1 had been busily employed in 
1764. fomenting the evils which existed, and that, by his misrepresen- 
tations and his impeachment of the loyalty of the province, he 
was responsible in a measure for encouraging the scheme which 
the ministry was persistently pressing upon Parliament. There 
were many things in his conduct which were displeasing to the 
patriots of the province. His sympathies were with the court, 
not with the people ; and the motives to induce him to side 
with the former were far more powerful than any expectations 
of advancement from the latter. To minds of his cast, the 
prospect that the struggle would terminate adversely to Eng- 
land was exceedingly doubtful ; and he had no hesitation in 
abiding the issue. But he was soon made sensible that, with 
whatever meekness his sway had been thus far submitted to, 
there were bounds which it would be unwise to transgress. 
Hence, at the opening of the court, aware of the odium which 
attached to his proceedings, he had not the courage to persist 
in his interference, but contented himself with recommending 
unity in their counsels, and prudence and moderation in the 
measures they should adopt. 2 

The action of the House was at first undecided. The wishes 
of the people had been distinctly expressed ; but where so 
much was at stake, caution was advisable. The stillness which 
portends the earthquake reigned. Yet the deep under current 
of popular feeling urged the representatives on ; and, setting 
aside private business, the House went into a committee of the 
whole to consider the letters which had been received from 

1 Hutchinson draughted a long pa- were out of the question, yet I could 
per on the claims of the colonies ; wish it so disguised as to be supposed 
and in a letter, of July 23, to a to come from some other colony rath- 
friend in England, ■ he says, " If I er than from Massachusetts. What- 
have any where expressed myself with ever you do, I hope you will not let 
too great freedom, I know you will it be known that they come from me." 
not suffer it to do me any prejudice. MS. Corresp. ii. 99. 
I desire to avoid publicity, and to do 2 Hutchinson, Hi. 112; Bradford, 
nothing out of character. If that i, 32, 33. 


their agents in England ; and an address to the king was pre- chap. 
pared by a committee, of which Otis was chairman. 1 The tone ^^ 
of this address was displeasing to the Council, and it was op- 1764. 

. Oct. 22. 

posed. Mr. Hutchinson was at the bottom of this opposition ; 2 
and, after a conference, an address to the House of Commons 
was agreed upon, and prepared by a committee of both branch- 
es of the court. The tone of this address was much milder 
than that to the king. Nothing was said of the right of Par- 
liament to impose a tax, nor of the intention of the people to 
evade its operation ; but, after setting forth in general terms 
the objections which had been urged against the sugar act and 
the stamp act, it concluded with a prayer for further delay, and 
for a continuance of the privileges which had been hitherto 
enjoyed, without which their condition would be deplorably 

Aware of the feeling against him in America, Mr. Hutchin- 
son was indefatigable to prevent misapprehension of his posi- 
tion in England ; and, though he seems to have wavered 
between patriotism and loyalty, — between devotion to his own 
country and servility to the crown, — he had decided, on the 
whole, to side with the oppressors. By taking this course, his 
ambition whispered to him there was a reasonable chance of 
his elevation to the chief magistracy, should any thing .occur to 
occasion the removal of Governor Bernard. This was the 
elevation to which he aspired ; and hence the duplicity of his 
conduct was thinly veiled by an outward profession of attach- 
ment to liberty. 3 

1 Mass. Rec's ; Jour. H. of R. for and want of spirit ; but stay till you 
1764, p. 102 ; Mass. Gazette for Mar. see the consequences, and you will 
14, 1765. determine it to be well-judged cau- 

2 " I desire, as long as I live," wrote tion and prudence. The misfortune 
Hutchinson, March 16, 1765, MS. is, the imprudence of particular gov- 
Corresp. ii. 132, " to promote entire emments will probably bring down 
concord and harmony, and to prevent destruction upon their neighbors, as 
unreasonable and intemperate zeal well as themselves." 

against the powers without. This 3 I am fully aAvare that there are 
may be thought, from a short and difficulties in forming a correct esti- 
imperfect view, to betray diffidence mate of the character of Hutchinson, 




But if the action of Massachusetts was less decided in this 
trying hour than might have been expected, the zeal of her 
citizens was soon inflamed to a still higher pitch ; and, upon 
the receipt of the addresses from New York and Yirginia, 
whose resolute tone strikingly contrasted with their own mod- 
est address, the demand for stronger measures became so 
urgent that the appeal could be no longer resisted. 1 The 
action of Parliament was likewise calculated to rekindle strife. 
Grenville, who had postponed his scheme of taxation for a 
season, now came forward prepared to urge it "upon the most 
general and acknowledged grounds of whig policy." 2 The 
Jan. 10. king, at the opening of the session, presented the American 
question as one of " obedience to the laws and respect for the 
legislative authority of the kingdom ; " and the Lords and 
Commons, in their reply, declared their intention to pursue 
every plan calculated for the public advantage, and to proceed 


It would be easy to quote passages 
from his correspondence in which lib- 
eral sentiments are candidly express- 
ed, and it would be equally easy to 
quote passages betraying a want of 
confidence in such sentiments, and a 
decided leaning towards arbitrary 
measures. His position was peculiar. 
On the one hand, his social relations 
inclined htm to espouse the cause of 
his country ; on the other, his cau- 
tiousness whispered to him that per- 
haps his political interests would be 
better secured by a little reserve, and 
that it would be more prudent to ap- 
pear willing to acquiesce in the meas- 
ures of the ministry than to express 
dissent from them. The following 
passage, from a letter dated April 26, 
1765, in MS. Corresp. ii. 136, may 
give some clew to his motives. " Some 
men," says he, " it is most evident, of 
both sides, have not a spark of public 
spirit, and see the public interest rise 
or fall with no other pleasure than as 
their own particular interest is con- 
cerned ; and as a bad man of an en- 
terprising genius can always serve 

himself at the expense of the public, 
he will never fail doing it unless he 
finds the temporal advantage will be 
more than balanced by his particular 
share of the damage that will accrue 
to the public." With this conjoin the 
saying of Lord Bacon : " All rising to 
great place is by a winding stair ; and 
if there be factions, it is good to side 
a man's self whilst he is in the rising, 
and to balance himself when he is 

1 Hutchinson, iii. 115. "The acts 
of Parliament have made such impres- 
sions on the minds of the northward 
people, and the men-of-war so steadi- 
ly enforce them, that there is an en- 
tire stagnation of trade. Nothing do 
they talk of but then own manufac- 
tures, the downfall of England, and 
the rise of America ; as if, in a little 
time, we should be able to supply our- 
selves with most of the necessaries we 
used to take from England." Extract 
from letter from Virginia, in Mass. 
Gazette for Jan. 10, 1765. 

2 Bancroft, v. 229. 


therein " with that temper and firmness which will best concil- chap. 
iate and insure due submission to the laws, and reverence to ^^^, 
the legislative authority of Great Britain." x The prospect 1765. 
of carrying his favorite measure was exceedingly gratifying to 
the feelings of the chief minister ; to the remonstrances of the 
agents of the colonies a deaf ear was turned ; and, seconded Feb. 2. 
by Townshend, Jenyns, and others, a series of resolutions, fifty- 
five in number, was proposed to the committee of ways and Feb. 5 
means, embracing the details of the contemplated stamp act. 2 
The opponents of the resolutions were comparatively few ; 3 yet 
their names are worthy of perpetual remembrance. Beckford, 
Conway, Jackson, and Barre were the principal speakers ; and 
to two of these, Conway and Barre, the thanks of the province 
were afterwards tendered. 4 But their eloquence was of no 
avail. The resolutions were carried by an overwhelming 
majority of five to one, and the triumph of the ministry was 
emphatic and complete. 5 

The very next day orders were issued to Grenville and his Feb. 3. 

1 Debates in Pari. iv. 244-246 ; 30. The speech of Barre was exceed- 
Aikin's Anns, of George III. i. 39. ingly spirited. 'Townshend had said 

2 Walpole's George III. ii. 68 ; De- that the American colonies were plant- 
bates in Pari. iv. 250 ; Bancroft, v. ed by the care, nourished by the in- 
236. " The colonies, in truth," says dulgence, and protected by the arms 
Walpole, " were highly alarmed, and of England ; to which Barre replied, 
had sent over representations so strong " They planted by your care ! No ; 
against being taxed here, that it was your oppressions planted them in 
not thought decent or safe to present America. They nourished up by your 
then memorial to Parliament." indulgence ! They grew by your neg- 

3 " We hear that at the debate in lect of them. They protected by your 
the House of Commons, when the re- arms ! They have nobly taken up 
Solves passed, not a man spoke who arms in your defence. And believe 
did not declare his opinion that the me, the same spirit of freedom which 
American people ought to be taxed ; actuated that people at first will ac- 
nor would any one introduce a peti- company them still." Mass. Gazette 
tion which should impeach the right for May 30, 1765. For further par- 
of Parliament. Even the most inter- ticulars relative to the correspondence 
ested, and those who are of the oppo- between the General Court and Barre 
sition, all refused to present such a see Drake's Boston, 704. An expres- 
petition." Mass. Gazette for April 4, sion used by Barre in his speech fur- 
1765. nished to the province the motto of 

4 Walpole's George HI. ii. 67 ; " the Sons of Liberty." 
Providence Gazette of Aug. 14, 1765; 5 Aikin's George III. i. 40. 
Conduct of the late Admin examined, 


chap, associates to " bring in a stamp bill for America ; * and sis 
^^1^ days after the bill was ready. It was read the first time with- 
1765. out debate, and petitions against it were rejected. 1 Two weeks 
Feb. 27. later the bill passed the Commons ; early in the following 
Mar. 8. month it was agreed to by the Lords ; and a fortnight later it 
Mar.22. received the royal assent by a commission, his majesty being ill 
r- and unable to sign it. Thus, at a time when the light of rea- 
son was obscured in the head of the nation, was the measure 
adopted which laid the foundation of the American revolution. 2 
The tidings of the passage of this act gave great dissatisfac- 
tion. Mr. Hutchinson, it is true, still held a seat in the 
Council, and everted an influence upon public affairs. But his 
former popularity was daily declining, and his influence was 
destined to be counteracted in a way little agreeable to his 
feelings. 3 The message of the governor, at the opening of the 
General Court, took no notice of what he knew must be upper- 
most in the minds of a majority of the representatives ; 4 but 
the House was not daunted, and, at the instance of Otis, voted 
June 6. at once that it was expedient there should be a " meeting, as 
soon as convenient, of committees from the Houses in the sev- 
eral colonies, to consult together on their present circumstances, 
and the difficulties to which they were and must be reduced 

1 Conduct of the late Admin, ex- June 4, 1765, in ibid. 139, " The 
amined, 8 ; Mass. Gazette for May 23, stamp act is received among us with 
1765. as much decency as could be expect- 

2 Supp't Mass. Gazette for May 16, ed. Hitherto I have endeavored to 
1765 ; Walpole's George HI. ii. 82 ; state the case of the colonies in the 
Hutchinson, hi. 116, 117 ; Minot, ii. most favorable light, always with sub- 
200 ; Bancroft, v= 243-248. mission to the supreme authority. It 

3 " The ministry,'' says Hutchinson, is now become my duty, as an execu- 
in speaking of this act, MS. Corresp. tive officer, to promote the execution 
ii. 135, April 9, 1765, "may obtain of the act and to prevent any evasion, 
applause, and the nation be amused a and I hope there will be as little room 
little while by this measure ; but I for complaint from this as from any 
think there is danger that the discour- colony." Again, June 5, ibid. 140 : 
agements, discontents, and dissatisfac- " The act will execute itself, and there 
tion to the mother country, winch will is no room for evasion ; and if there 
be caused in many of the colonies, will was, I am sure the executive court 
eventually more than balance all the would show no countenance to it" 
profit that will ever be received from 4 Jour. H. of R. for 1765, p. 11. 
taxes," &c. Yet afterwards he wrote, 


by the operation of the late acts of Parliament." This meet- chap. 
ing was proposed to be held on the first Tuesday of October ; v _^^ 
and circular letters were drawn up to be sent as far south as 1760. 
South Carolina. The opposition of the governor and of Mr. 
Hutchinson could not check these proceedings, and they were 
compelled to acquiesce in them with the best grace they could. 1 
It was the intention of Grenville, in the execution of the 
new act, to " begin with small duties and taxes, and to advance 
in proportion as it should be found the colonies would bear ; " 2 
but his colleagues were urgent for the adoption of additional 
measures, and, in particular, insisted that the mutiny act should 
be extended to America, with power to billet troops on private 
houses. To this Grenville would not consent. Yet the bill 
passed ; and the colonies were required, at their own expense, 
to furnish the troops quartered upon them by Parliament with 
fuel, bedding, utensils for cooking, and various articles of food 
and drink. To take off the edge from this bill, bounties were 
granted on the importation of lumber and timber from the 
plantations ; coffee of domestic growth was exempted from 
additional duty ; and iron was permitted to be carried to 
Ireland. 3 

1 Jour. H. of R. for 1765, 108, one who was confident that the stamp 
109 ; Mass. Gazette for Aug. 29, act would execute itself; but he after- 
1765; Hutchinson, iii. 118; Minot, wards wrote, Aug. 16, 1765, in MS. 
ii. 203-207; Bradford, i. 54; Ban- Corresp.iL 145, "I made a poor jtidg- 
croft, v. 279. The committee to write ment when I wrote you last, and find 
to the other colonies consisted of I promised myself what I wished rath- 
Samuel White, James Otis, and er than what I had reason to expect. 

Lee ; and on the 20th of June, James I am now convinced that the people 

Otis, Timothy Ruggles, and Oliver throughout the colonies are impressed 

Partridge were chosen delegates to with an opinion that they are no 

the congress. On the 24th, Mr. Cush- longer considered by the people of 

ing, of Boston, Captain Sheafe. and England as their fellow-subjects, and 

Mr. Gray were chosen to draught a entitled to English liberties ; and I 

letter to the agent in England, which expect some tragical event in some or 

was done. Jour. H. of It. other of the colonies, for we are not 

2 Hutchinson's Letter of April 9, only in a deplorable situation at pres- 
1765, in MS. Corresp. ii. 135 ; Ban- ent, but have a dismal prospect before 
croft, v. 248. us as the commencement of the act 

3 Chatham Corresp. iii. 192, 208 ; approaches. If there be no execution 
Acts Geo. in. c. xlv. ; Supp't to of it, all business must cease ; and yet 
Mass. Gazette for June 6, 1765 ; Ban- the general view is, it cannot be car- 
croft, v. 248-25 1. Hutchinson was ried into execution." 


But the stamp act itself was the principal grievance ; and it 
soon became evident to all who had nattered themselves it 
1765. would be peacefully executed that they had entirely mistaken 
the temper of the colonists, and, from their former submission, 
had too hastily concluded that they would continue to submit. 
Nor was the policy of Grenville, of selecting the officers who 
were to execute the act from among the Americans themselves, 
more fortunate. It was well known that enough could be 
found who were ready to barter their liberties for office ; and 
such were held in deserved execration. True, the agents of 
the colonies were invited to make the nominations, and, as a 
mindr evil, in most cases did so ; nor did any of them, not even 
Franklin, express their belief that the act would be resisted. 1 
Otis had said, " It is our duty to submit to all acts of Parlia- 
ment ; " but he qualified this statement by adding, that all acts 
contrary to the constitution were null and void, and conse- 
quently not binding even if sanctioned by Parliament. 2 The 

1764. General Court, too, in one of its addresses, while they " humbly 
apprehended " they might " propose their objections," acknowl- 
edged " their duty to yield obedience to the act while it con- 
tinued unrepealed." 3 But public opinion cannot always be 
hemmed in by conventional restraints • and the outbreak 
which followed was as spontaneous as it was unexpected. 

A general determination was early evinced to prevent the 
execution of the stamp act at all hazards. Virginia was the 

1765. first to " ring the alarm bell ; " but her resolves were so point- 
May 29. 

' ed that some pronounced them treasonable. 4 The newspapers 

vindicated them ; and, the tide of opinion suddenly changing, 
in the end they were applauded as worthy of imitation. 5 The 

1 Conduct of the late Admin, ex- inson's Hist. iii. 119; Debates in Pari, 
amined, 13-18. iv. 308 ; Conduct of the late Admin. 

2 Bancroft, v. 250-252. examined, 26, 71, 93, 94. A copy of 

3 Conduct of the late Admin, ex- the Virginia resolutions was transmit- 
amined, 17. ted to the ministry so early as the 

4 Hutchinson's Lett, of Aug. 15 to 27 th of July. Conduct of late Admin, 
the Sec. of State, and to Pownall of examined, 20. 

July 19, in MS. Corresp. ii.j Hutch- 5 Says Hutchinson to Pownall, July 


names of the stamp distributors had been published in Boston chap. 
by Jared Ingersoll, of Connecticut, who had just arrived from ^J^_ 
England ; and it was found that Andrew Oliver, the brother-in- 1760. 
law of Hutchinson, was appointed for Massachusetts. Imme- 
diately " the decree seemed to go forth that Boston should 
lead the way in the work of compulsion." 1 

A change in the ministry had taken place in England ; and July 8. 
William Pitt had been again called to office. 2 The birthday 
of the Prince of Wales was kept as a holiday ; and the crowd Aug.12. 
that assembled on the occasion, as they kindled their bonfire 
in King Street, rent the air with tumultuous shouts of " Pitt 
and liberty." It was welcome news to all that one in whom 
they trusted as the friend of the colonies had been restored to 
power ; and, such was the impulse given to the " Sons of Lib- 
erty," they would rest satisfied with nothing short of some 
signal demonstration of their feelings. It was at once con- 
certed, therefore, to hang in effigy the obnoxious distributor of 
stamps ; and on the morning of Wednesday, the fourteenth of 
August, the inhabitants of the southerly part of the town, as Aug.u. 
they passed to their business, saw suspended from the out- 
stretched limb of a majestic elm, long known as the " Liberty 
Tree," 3 an effigy of Oliver, 4 tricked out with the emblems of 

10, 1765, in MS. Corresp. ii. 143, duct, &c, 17 ; Walpole's George ITJ. 

"Upon the first arrival of the stamp ii. 163; Mass. Gazette for Aug. 29, 

act, our political heroes seemed to be 1765. 
silenced, and acknowledged the ad- 3 This tree stood at the corner of Es- 

or petition from the province, sex and Washington Streets ; and the 

which had been much exclaimed Hon. David Sears has erected upon 

against, was right and well judged ; its site a splendid building, known as 

but, encouraged by Virginia, they be- the " Liberty Tree Block," on the 

gin to open again, and yesterday we front of which is a representation of 

had published a piece as full of rant the tree in bass-relief, 
as any which had preceded it." Comp. 4 The effigy of Oliver was prepared 

Debates in Pari. iv. 311, 312. by the mechanics of Boston, viz., Ben- 

1 Letter of Gage to Conway, Sept. jamin Edes, Thomas Crafts, John 
1765. Smith, Stephen Cleverly, John Avery, 

2 The intention of removing the- Jr., Thomas Chase, Henry Bass, and 
old ministry was declared in the mid- Henry Welles. Gordon's Am. Rev. 
die of May, and the new administra- i. 175; Diary of John Adams, in 
tion came into office in July. Con- Works, ii. 175 ; Drake's Boston, 695. 


chap. Bute and Grenville. 1 The news spread like wildfire ; and 

^J^ thousands collected to gaze on the spectacle. Hutchinson, as 

1765. the chief justice, ordered the sheriff to remove the images ; but 

' the people interfered, expressing their determination to have 

them remain until evening. Governor Bernard summoned his 

Council to meet in the afternoon ; but what could they do ? A 

majority was opposed to taking any action ; and the minority 

was compelled to submit. 

Towards evening the excitement increased, and the images 
were taken down, placed upon a bier, supported in procession 
by six men, and followed by an " amazing multitude " through 
the streets to the town house. Here the crowd paused directly 
under the council chamber, and shouted at the top of their 
voices, " Liberty, property, and no stamps ! " Three cheers were 
then given ; and the crowd moved on to Kilby Street, to Oli- 
* ver's Dock, where a building was demolished which, it was 
supposed, had been erected for a stamp office. The fragments 
of this building were carried to Fort Hill, and a bonfire was 
made of them in front of Oliver's house, upon which the images 
were burned. 2 

The spirit of resistance was fully aroused, and the cry of 
the south was echoed at the north. "The stamp act shall 
never be executed here," was the determination of the people. 
" All the power of Great Britain shall not compel us to sub- 
mit to it." " We will die on the place first." " We will spend 
9 our last blood in the cause." " The man who offers a stamped 
paper to sell will be immediately killed." 3 It was to no pur- 
pose that Hutchinson directed an alarm to be sounded, and the 

1 Bute, " the favorite," had been during several years, both in England 

frequently burned in effigy in England, and America, as tokens of hostility to 

under the emblem of a jack-boot — a the court. Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. 

pun upon his name as John, Earl of v. 25. 

Bute. To the jack-boot in these burn- 2 Mass. Gazette for Aug. 19, 1765, 

ings it was not unusual to add a pet- Supp't, and for Aug. 22. 

ticoat — a further compliment to the 3 Hutchinson's Narr. in MS. Cor- 

Princess Dowager of Wales. Such resp. ii. ; Conduct of the late Admin, 

bonfires of the jack-boot were renewed examined, 27. 


military to be mustered, for " the drummers were in the mob." chak 
Nor did his appearance in person, with the sheriff at his heels, ^^ 
cause the crowd to disperse. " Stand by," was the watchword ; 1760. 
and the baffled chief justice was compelled to flee. An hour 
before midnight the throng repaired to the residence of the 
governor, and, after three cheers, quietly dispersed. 1 

The next day a proclamation was issued by the governor, Aug.15. 
offering a reward for the discovery of the offenders ; 2 but no 
one was disposed to act as informer, and, if any were seized, 
"\tho prisons," said Mayhew, "would not hold them many 
hours." " We have a dismal prospect before us," said Hutch- 
inson • and he advised that a larger watch should be set at 
night \ but the motion was opposed, and the ordinary watch 
was not increased. " If Oliver had been found last night," 
said Bernard ruefully, "he would actually have been mur- 
thered ; " and Oliver himself inclined to the same opinion. It 
was plainly intimated that, if he did not resign his office before 
night, his house would be pulled down about his ears ; and, 
thoroughly convinced that it would be best to yield, he signed 
a paper expressing his willingness to throw up his commission. 
This satisfied the crowd, and at night a bonfire celebrated 
their victory. 3 

For a short time there was quiet. But at length the dis- 
trust of the people fell upon Hutchinson ; and, twelve days 
after Oliver had been hanged in ef&gy, the crowd assembled to Aug.2S 
pay him a visit. " He is a prerogative man," was the general 
cry. " He grasps all the important offices in the state." " He 
himself holds four offices, and his relatives six or seven." " He 
had a principal hand in projecting the stamp act." 4 Such 

1 Hutchinson's Lett, of Aug. 15, in 121 ; Conduct of the late Admin. &c. 
MS. Corresp. ii. ; Hutchinson's Hist. 101 ; Debates in Pari. iv. 313-316. 
iii. 120 ; Conduct of the late Admin. 4 That Hutchinson stood ready to 
examined, 99-101. execute the stamp act, if he did not 

2 This proclamation is given in approve its passage, is evident from 
Drake's Bost. 696, note. his letter of June 4, 1765, which has 

3 Hutchinson's Lett, of Aug. 16, in been already quoted. 
MS. Corresp. ii. 145, and Hist. iii. 

300 Hutchinson's house attacked. 

chap, outcries wrought upon their inflammable spirits, and prepared 
^_J5^ them for deeds of greater violence. Their first act was to 
17G5. enter the office of Mr. Story, the deputy registrar, opposite 
the north side of the court house, and burn the records of the 
Vice Admiralty Court ; next they ravaged the house of Mr.* 
Hallowell, the comptroller of the customs, situated on Hanover 
Street ; and then, hastening to the residence of Hutchinson, in. 
Garden Court Street, and barely giving his family time to 
escape, they split open the doors of his palatial mansion, de- 
stroyed his furniture, scattered his plate, threw his books and 
manuscripts into the streets, ransacked his wine cellar, and at 
daybreak left his house a ruin. 1 

Governor Bernard was at the Castle when these events oc- 
curred ; but, hastening to town the next day, he summoned the 
Council to meet immediately to decide what should be done. 
Before that body met, the inhabitants of Boston assembled in 
Fancuil Hall, and, deprecating the violent proceedings of the 
previous night, a series of resolutions was passed, desiring the 
selectmen to suppress the like disorders in the future, and 
pledging the assistance of the people in the discharge of this 
duty. The Council advised a proclamation, offering a reward 
of three hundred pounds for the detection of the ringleaders, 
and one hundred pounds for other persons, and six or eight 
were apprehended ; but the attempt to arrest one Mackintosh, 
in King Street, was resisted, and those who had been seized 
were speedily liberated. The popular excitement was such 
that nothing could be effectually done, and the government 
was shorn of its usual strength. Few even of the conservative 
citizens sympathized with the legislation which had awakened 
this resentment, and few were disposed to interrupt the course 
of events. Only so much restraint was therefore exercised as 
to prevent the passions of the multitude from overleaping all 

1 Hutchinson's Lett, of Aug. 30, in duct of the late Admin. &c. 102-104 ; 
MS. Corresp. ii. 146, and Hist. iii. ; Debates in Pari. iv. 316-318. 
Boston News Letter for Sept. 3 j Con- 


bounds, and many rejoiced that the abettors of oppression had chap. 

been signally rebuked. 1 ^Jl^ 

Shortly after the attack upon the house of Mr. Hutchinson, 1765. 

Sept 9 

news arrived that another change had taken place in the min- 
istry, the Rockingham whigs having been elevated to power. 2 
Great was the joy awakened by these tidings ; and the hope 
was cherished that, as the new cabinet contained some friends 
to America, a repeal of the stamp act might be effected. 3 " If 
Astraea were not fled/ 7 said Mayhew, "there might be grounds 
for the hope." 4 . But little could be gained by waiting in 
silence for the repeal. Something must be done to show that 
the colonies were in earnest in their resistance ; that the out- 
break which had just passed, if it was an ebullition of pas- 
sion, was also an indication of the determination of the people 
not to submit to the obnoxious act ; and that, if no open coun- 
tenance was given to the doings of an excited populace, it was 
not because the prudent thought or felt differently, but because, 
conscious of the justice of their cause, they were more disposed 
to rely upon an appeal to Parliament, by showing that the act, 
if persisted in and enforced, would be as pernicious to Great 
Britain as to America. 

In accordance with these views, in all the colonies, from 
Georgia to New Hampshire, the same spirit of opposition was 
manifested as in Massachusetts. The stamp distributors and 

1 Conduct of the late Admin. &c. men, in support of what upon a sud- 
28 ; Mass. Gazette for Aug. 29, 1 765. den appear to them to be their rights." 
" The colonists," says Hutchinson, This passage was penned more than a 
MS. Corresp. ii. 90, " like all the rest year before the attack upon his house, 
of the human race, are of different and shows how he could then apolo- 
spirits and dispositions ; some more gize for the warmth of his country- 
calm and moderate, others more vio- men. 

lent and extravagant; and if now and 2 Mass. Gazette for Sept. 26, 1765 ; 

then some rude and indecent things Hutchinson, iii. 128; Bradford, i. 66; 

are thrown out in print, in one place Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. ; Bancroft, 

and another, I hope such things will y. 296-306, 316. 

not be considered as coming from the 3 For an account of the ceremonies 

colonists in general, but from partic- on this occasion, see Drake's Boston, 

ular persons, warmed by the intern- 703. 

perate zeal, shall I say?" of English- 4 Quoted in Bancroft, v. 316. 


chap, inspectors, in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and at 
^^_ the south, by the " unconquerable rage of the people," were 
1765. compelled to resign. 1 Not one was permitted to hold office 
quietly. At all hazards it had been determined to resist the 
act. If the question was asked, " What will you do after the 
first of November ? " the reply was, " We shall do as before." 
" Will you, then," it was inquired, " set at defiance the Parlia- 
ment ? " " We are ready," it was answered, " to submit to 
constitutional laws ; but the stamp act is against Magna 
Charta ; and Lord Coke says, an act of Parliament against 
Magna Charta is for that reason void." 2 

Nor were the statesmen of the province idle. The General 
Sep. 25. Court had been prorogued to the last week in September, at 
which time the governor, in his message, after alluding to 
the late acts of violence, and to the declarations of the peo- 
ple that the stamp act should never be executed, called upon 
both houses to support him in the exercise of his authority. 
The law, he observed, might be inexpedient ; yet it could not 
be denied that Parliament had the right both to pass and to 
enforce it ; and he cautioned them against denying this right, 
lest such denial should injure their own interests, and prevent 
the repeal of the act. The alarming consequences of a refusal 
to submit were also set forth ; and, while he insisted that their 
submission alone would be insufficient without the concurrence 
of the people, he advised them to acquaint themselves well 
with the exigencies of the times, and to endeavor to persuade 

1 John Adams's Diary, in "Works, heroism, erected in the several colo- 

ii. 154; Hutchinson, iii. 128; Ban- nies and provinces in the course of 

croft, v. 316, 322. "The people," this year. Our presses have groaned, 

wrote J. Adams, in the following De- our pulpits have thundered, our legis- 

cember, "even to the lowest ranks, laturQS have resolved, our towns have 

have been more attentive to their lib- voted ; the crown officers have every 

erties, more inquisitive about them, where trembled, and all their little 

and more determined to defend them, tools and creatures have been afraid 

than they were ever before known or to speak and ashamed to be seen. " 
had occasion to be ; innumerable have 2 Hutchinson, MS. Corresp. ii. ; 

been the monuments of wit, humor, Bancroft, v. 323. 
sense, learning, spirit, patriotism, and 


their constituents to yield. For this purpose he proposed to chap. 
give them a recess ; but the House would ask l'or no recess, ^J^, 
and two days after the governor adjourned the court to the 176-5. 
last week in October. 1 

Already had John Adams, through the medium of the press, 
expressed the convictions of his honest heart. " There seems 
to be," said he, " a direct and formal design on foot in Great *- 
Britain to enslave all America. Be it remembered, liberty 
must at all hazards be defended. Rulers are no more than 
attorneys, agents, and trustees for the people ; and if the trust 
is insidiously betrayed, or wantonly trifled away, the people 
have a right to revoke the authority that they themselves have 
deputed, and to constitute abler and better agents. We have 
an indisputable right to demand our privileges against all the 
power and authority on earth." 2 Braintree, his native town, 
passed, at his instance, a series of resolves, instructing their Sep. 24. 
representatives in relation to the stamps. These resolves were 
published ; and such was their spirit that they rang through 
the whole province, and forty towns, at least, adopted them in 
substance as instructions to their representatives. 3 Boston had 
previously expressed its abhorrence of the act as " contrary to Sep. 12 
the British constitution," and " contrary to the charter of the 
province and the rights of mankind." 4 The voice of a kinsman 
of Adams spoke in these words ; and Samuel Adams, who " felt 

1 Jour. H. of It. for 1765, pp. 117- probably maintain such right, and sup- 

123, 129 ; Mass. Gazette Extra for port their own authority ? Is it in 

Sept. 26, 1765 ; Hutchinson, iii. 129, the will, or in the power, or for the 

130, and App. C. ; Bradford, i. 68. interest of this province, to oppose 

" The right of the Parliament of Great such authority ? If such opposition 

Britain to make laws for the American should be made, may it not bring on 

colonies," said the governor, " howev- a contest, which may prove the most 

er it has been controverted in Amer- detrimental and ruinous event which 

ica, remains indisputable at Westmin- could happen to this people ? " 
ster. If it is yet to be made a ques- 2 Bancroft, v. 325. 
tion, who shall determine it but the 3 John Adams's Works, ii. 152, 

Parliament ? If the Parliament de- 153. The instructions of other towns 

elares that the right is inherent in are given in Mass. Gazette for Oct. I? 

them, are they likely to acquiesce in and 24, 1765. 

an open and forcible opposition to the 4 Mass. Gazette for Sept. 19, 1765 ; 

exercise of it ? Will they not more Bradford, i. 66, 67 ; Bancroft, v. 329. 


chap, an ambition of doing something extraordinary," acted as the 

^J^ scribe of the people, and gave utterance to their thoughts. 

1765. Hence, when the court met, after its adjournment, the answer 

Oct. 24. 

Oct! 28.' to the message of 'his excellency was ready ; and, five days 

' after, a series of resolves, fourteen in number, was passed, 

which were ordered " to be kept in the records of this House, 

that a just sense of liberty, and the firm sentiments of loyalty, 

may be transmitted to posterity." J 

Oct. 7. Earlier in the month a congress of delegates from the differ- 
ent provinces had assembled in New York, at which resolutions 
were passed, based upon the inalienable rights of man, and an 
address to the king, a memorial to the House of Lords, and a 
petition to the House of Commons were draughted and signed 
by the " commissioners, or the major part of them, who were 
instructed for that purpose." 2 The proceedings of this body 
were cautious and respectful, yet decisive and firm. The tone 
of its papers was certainly mild, displaying no spirit of rash- 
ness or innovation ; and there was little in either of them to 
which exception could be taken. The memorialists, indeed, 
claimed an exemption from all taxes except such as were 
imposed by the legislatures of the respective colonies ; but, at 
the same time, they frankly affirmed that " they esteemed their 

1 Mass. Gazette for Oct. 31 and lina were not represented. Pitkin, 
Nov. 14, 1765; Jour. H. of R. for 130, 136; Mulford's New Jersey, 
1765, 151-153 ; Hutchinson, iii. App. 368 ; Story's Comm. i. 175 ; Bancroft, 
E. ; Bradford's State Papers. Samuel v. 334. Gage, speaking of this con- 
Adams was elected at this time to rep- gress, says, " Those who compose it 
resent Boston in the place of Oxen- are of various characters and opinions ; 
bridge Thacher, deceased ; and it was but in general the spirit of democracy 
by him, probably, that the address of is strong among them, supporting the 
the House to the governor was penned, independence of the provinces as not 

2 The provinces represented in this subject to the legislative power of 
congress were, Massachusetts, Rhode Great Britain. The question is not 
Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, of the inexpediency of the stamp act, 
Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, but that it is unconstitutional, and 
New York, and South Carolina. New contrary to their rights." Gage to 
Hampshire, though unrepresented, Conway, Oct. 12, in Bancroft, v. 342. 
agreed to abide by the result ; and The names of the members are given 
Georgia sent for a copy of their pro- in Dunlap's N. Y. i. 416, note, 
ceeclings. Virginia and North Caro- 


connection with and dependence on Great Britain as one of chap. 
their greatest blessings, and apprehended the latter would ^J^ 
appear to be sufficiently secure when it was considered that 1760. 
the inhabitants in the colonies had the most unbounded affec- 
tion for his majesty's person, family, and government, as well 
as for the mother country, and that their subordination to 
Parliament was universally acknowledged." 1 

The ministry, in the mean time, had been informed of the 
" riots " in Massachusetts and elsewhere ; and, reluctant to co- 
erce, they shrank from enforcing at the point of the sword 
the law which a part of them in their hearts disapproved. 
Hence, just one day before the adjournment of the congress at 
New York, and one week before the stamp act was to go into Oct. 24. 
effect, orders were sent to the American governors, and to 
General Gage, recommending " the utmost prudence and len- 
ity/' and advising a resort to " persuasive methods." 2 

The first of November dawned upon the province ; and it Nov. 1. 
found the people ready and determined to nullify the stamp 
act. In Boston, the bells of the churches tolled its knell ; 
minute guns were fired ; the vessels in the harbor displayed 
their colors at half-mast ; and children in the streets, catching 
from their elders the word as it passed round, swelled the chorus, 
and shouted wildly, " Liberty, property, and no stamps ! " 3 It 

1 Trumbull MSS. ii. 64 ; Lett, of reason for dissenting from the action 

Gov. Fitch, of Connecticut, dated Nov. of the congress, see Mass. Gazette for 

13, 1765 ; Mass. Gazette for March May 1, 1766. 

20, 1766 ; Hutchinson, iii. App. 479- 2 Conway to Gov. Fitch, Oct. 24, 

488 ; Bradford, i. 55-60 ; Lord Ma- in Trumbuil MSS. ii. 65 ; Conway to 

hon's Hist. Eng. v. 126; Bancroft, v. Bernard and Gage, and to the other 

334-345. Two of the delegates — American governors, in Debates in 

Timothy Ruggles, of Massachusetts, Pari. iv. 302-306 ; Mass. Gazette for 

and Joseph Ogden, of New Jersey — Feb. 6, 1766. The same day that 

refused to sign the address and me- these letters were dated, viz., October 

morials ; and the former was censured 24, a committee was appointed on the 

by his constituents on his return, and part of both branches of the Massa- 

the latter was hanged in effigy by the chusetts legislature to consider some 

people. The report of the proceed- proper method to prevent difficulties 

ings of the congress was approved by after the 1st of November. Journal 

the Massachusetts House of Repre- H. of R. for 1765, p. 145. 
sentatives on the 2d of November. 3 Mass. Gaz. of Oct. 31 gave as its 

Jour. H. of R. 164. For Ruggles's motto a couplet from Pope's Homer : 

VOL. II. 20 


chap, had been suggested that Mr. Huske, a native of New Hamp- 

^J^_ shire, who had removed to London and obtained a seat in the 
1765. House of Commons, had urged upon Grenville the passage of 
this act ; and his effigy, with that of the late chief minister, 
was huug upon Liberty Tree early in the morning. In the 
evening both images were cut down, carried to the town house, 
and thence to the gallows, where they were suspended a second 
time, and then torn in pieces and flung into the air. 1 The 

Nov. 5. fifth of the month, the anniversary of the powder plot, which 
had been a season of rioting with many in former years, was 
this year peaceably observed. A feud, which had long existed 
between the residents of the north and of the south part of 
Boston, was amicably settled ; both parties united in the cus- 
tomary pageants, and the utmost harmony and good feeling 
prevailed. 2 

By the operation of the stamp act, the courts of the province 
were closed, business was suspended, and an unusual stillness 
reigned throughout the country. The provisions of the act 
were exceedingly stringent ; and, as the people had refused to 
use the stamps which had been sent over, nothing remained but 

Dec. 18. to abide the consequences. 3 In this crisis a meeting was ap- 
pointed to be held in Boston ; but on the preceding day, as a 
precautionary measure, Oliver was compelled to resign his 

Dec. 17. office as distributor of stamps, and, in the presence of a multi- 

« Jove fixed it certain, that whatever day harbor, with stamped papers for Mas- 

Makes man a slave takes half his worth away." sacWtts5 K Hampshire, and Rhode 

On the 1st of November the paper Island, and asking what should be 
was not issued ; but on the 7 th a done with them ; but the House de- 
sheet was issued, marked No. 0. The clined advising him upon the subject, 
regular publication was resumed May The stamps were then deposited at the 
22, 1766. See the volumes of the Castle, and, to prevent their being for- 
Gazette, in Lib. Mass. Hist. Soc, and cibly seized by the populace, an addi- 
comp. Drake's Boston, 708, note. tional military company was stationed 

1 Mass. Gazette for Oct. 31, 1765; at the Castle by the governor. The 
Drake's Boston, 708. House protested against this step, and 

2 Mass. Gazette for Nov. 7. several messages passed between them 

3 September 25, the governor sent and the Governor and Council. Jour. 
a message to the House, informing H. of R. for 1765, pp. 124-126, 169- 
them that a vessel had arrived in the 185 ; Bradford, i. 75. 


tude of two thousand persons, an oath was administered to him, chap. 
under Liberty Tree, to the effect that " he had never taken any ^Jl^ 
measures to act in that office, and that he never would do so, 1760. 
directly or indirectly." x 

Satisfied with this concession, the town meeting convened ; 
and a vote was unanimously passed authorizing a committee to 
sign and present to his excellency the governor and the hon- 
orable Council a memorial requesting that the courts might be 
opened. 2 At the same time, the principal merchants of Boston 
and other towns, to the number of two hundred, agreed to 
import no more goods from England unless the stamp act 
should be repealed, and countermanded the orders already sent 
abroad. 3 

Thus closed the year 1765. Would the new year bring 
forth a repeal of the act ? " This year," wrote John Adams, 1760. 
" brings ruin or salvation to the British colonies. The eyes 
of all America are fixed on the British Parliament. In short, 
Britain and America are staring at each other ; and they will 
probably stare more and more for some time." 4 At the open- 
ing of the General Court, the House, in their answer to the Jan. 18. 
message of the governor, demanded redress for existing griev- 
ances. " The custom houses," said they, " are now open, and 
the people are permitted to transact their usual business. The 
courts of justice also must be open, — open immediately, — -and 
the law, the great rule of right, duly executed in every county 
in the province. This stopping of the course of justice is a 
grievance which this House must inquire into. Justice must 

1 Mass. Gazette for Dec. 19, 1765 ; uel Sewall, John Rowe, Joshua Hen- 
Hutchinson, iii. 139, 140 ; John Ad- shaw, and Arnold Welles ; and they 
ams's Diary, in Works, ii. 156 ; Ban- were empowered to employ as counsel 
croft, v. 375. The dampness of the Jeremiah Gridley, James Otis, and 
weather on this day did not damp the John Adams. Diary of John Adams, 
ardor of the people. in Works, ii. 157 et seq. 

2 The members of this committee 3 Mass. Gazette for Dec. 6, 12, and 
were Samuel Adams, Thomas Cushing, 19, 1765 ; Bradford, i. 77. 

John Hancock, Benjamin Kent, Sam- 4 Diary, in Works, ii. 170. 


chap, be fully administered without delay." l This message was 
s- J^ followed by a resolve of the House, sent to the Council, declar- 
1766. ing that " the shutting up of the courts of justice has a manifest 
tendency to dissolve the bonds of civil society ; is unjustifiable 
on the principles of law and reason ; dangerous to his majesty's 
crown and dignity ; and a very great grievance to the subject 
that requires immediate redress." The Council saw fit to lay 
this address on the table ; but, after some further proceedings, 
verbal declarations were made that the courts would be opened 
at the next term, and business be transacted as usual. 2 

Already the question of the repeal of the stamp act had 
begun to be agitated in England. Grenville, indeed, towards 
the close of his life, declared with emphasis that, " had he con- 
tinued in office, he would have forfeited a thousand lives if the 
act had been found impracticable." 3 But Grenville was out 
of power ; and the new ministry, fortunately for all parties, 
was neither imbued with his prejudices nor cursed with his 
stubbornness. Besides, the people of England, after all, were 
friendly to liberty ; their attachment to freedom was stronger 
than their love of arbitrary power ; and their consciences and 
affections appealed to them loudly to side with those who were 
struggling to resist the encroachments of absolutism. 4 Hence, 
1765. early in October, finding themselves in an unpleasant dilemma, 
the ministers had agreed that the American question was too 
weighty for their decision, though no hope was given that the 

1 Mass. Gazette for Jan. 23, 1766 ; is evident from the petitions presented 
Hutchinson, iii. 143 ; Bradford, i. 77. for that purpose. Policy, without 
On the 16th of January, the people of doubt, had much to do in exciting this 
Plymouth, at a town meeting, passed feeling, for the commercial interests 
a vote of thanks to their brethren of of the country were suffering. But 
Boston for their zealous defence of the combined with this was another feel- 
rights of the province. Mass. Gazette ing, the love of liberty, which the 
for Jan. 30, 1766. Americans were struggling to secure 

? Jour. H. of R. for 1766 ; Hutch- and enjoy. Both interest and affec- 

inson, iii. 143-145. tion, therefore, prompted the nation 

3 Cavendish Debates, i. 551 ; Ban- to urge the repeal of an act which was 
croft, v. 363. as inimical to their own welfare as to 

4 That multitudes in England were the welfare of America. Comp. Ban- 
earnest for the repeal of the stamp act croft, v. 366. 


act would be repealed, as its cancelment unconditionally would chap. 
be a " surrender of sovereignty." l x - * 

Early in the new year, Parliament, after the usual holiday 1766. 
recess, reassembled, and was informed by the king that " mat- 
ters of importance had happened in America, and orders been 
issued for the support of lawful authority." 2 The Lords, in 
reply, expressed their readiness to "assert and support the 
king's dignity, and the legislative authority of the kingdom 
over its colonies ; " but in the House of Commons, which was 
full, a debate sprang up, the most striking and memorable in 
the annals of England. 3 In the course of this debate William 
Pitt unexpectedly entered, having just arrived in town. It was 
above a year since he had been seen within those walls ; and, * 
as he walked slowly in, yet lame from gout, the eyes of all 
were fastened upon him. The Americans in the gallery, drawn 
thither by the importance of the pending debate, viewed him 
as their " guardian angel or saviour," 4 and eagerly awaited his 

Mr. Nugent (Lord Clare) was the first to address the House ; 
and he insisted that the honor and dignity of the kingdom 
obliged the Parliament to compel the execution of the stamp act, 
except the right was acknowledged and the repeal was solicited 
as a favor. He then expatiated on the extreme ingratitude of 
the colonies, and concluded by charging the ministry with en- 
couraging petitions to Parliament, and instructions to members 
from trading and manufacturing towns against the act. 5 Ed- 
mund Burke followed, and delivered his maiden speech on 
American affairs. 6 Then Pitt rose ; and, as the House was 

1 Lord Mahon's Hist. England, v. Lord Mahon's Hist. England, v. 129. 
128 ; Bancroft, v. 367. 4 John Adams's Diary, in Works, 

2 On the 24th of December there ii. ; Henry Seymour, of Connecticut, 
was a warm debate in Parliament " as in a letter to Gov. Fitch, dated Feb. 
to what should be done with the re- 26, 1766, in Trumbull MSS. ii. 77 
bellious Americans," in which Gren- 5 Debates in Pari. iv. 288. 

ville took part. Mass. Gazette for 6 Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 130. 

Feb. 13, 1766. The speech of the Bancroft, v. 400, says the maiden 

king is in ibid, for March 27, 1766. speech of Burke was made at a later 

3 Debates in Pari. iv. 285-287 j date. 


chap, greatly agitated, his opening words were scarcely audible. 

^^ But, warming as he proceeded, his voice increased in volume 
1766. and power, and he poured forth one of those brilliant harangues 
which distinguished him as the most powerful orator of his day. 
" I stand up in this place " — such were his words — " single 
and unconnected. As to the late ministry," — and here he 
turned to Grenville, who sat within one of him, — " every cap- 
ital measure they have taken has been entirely wrong. As to 
the present gentlemen, to those, at least, whom I have in my 
eye," — and here he looked at the bench where Conway sat 
with the lords of the treasury, — "I have no objection. Their 
characters are fair ; but, notwithstanding, I love to be explicit : 
, I cannot give them my confidence. Pardon me, gentlemen ; 
confidence is 9, plant of slow growth in an aged bosom ; youth 
is the season of credulity. 

" It is a long time since I have attended in Parliament. 
When the resolution was taken in the House to tax America, 
I was ill in bed. If I could have endured to have been car- 
ried in my bed, so great was the agitation of my mind for the 
consequences, I would have solicited some kind hand to have 
laid me down on this floor, to have borne my testimony against 
it. It is now an act that has passed. I would speak with 
decency of every act of this House ; but I must beg the indul- 
gence of the House to speak of it with freedom. 

" I hope a day may be soon appointed to consider the state 
of the nation with respect to America. I hope gentlemen will 
come to this debate with all the temper and impartiality that 
his majesty recommends and the importance of the subject 
requires — a subject of greater importance than ever engaged 
the attention of this House, that subject only excepted, when, 
near a century ago, it was the question whether yourselves 
were to be bond or free. In the mean time, as I cannot de- 
pend upon health for any future day, such is the nature of my 
infirmities, I will beg to say a few words at present — leaving 
the justice, the equity, the policy, the expediency of the act to 

spee:h of pitt. 311 

another time. Some gentlemen," alluding to Mr. Nugent, chap 
" seem to have considered it as a point of honor. If gentle- ^^ 
men consider it in that light, they leave all measures of right 1766. 
and wrong, to follow a delusion that may lead to destruction. 
It is my opinion that this kingdom has no right to lay a tax « 
upon the colonies — to be sovereign and supreme in every cir- 
cumstance of government and legislation whatsoever. They 
are the subjects of this kingdom, equally entitled with your- 
selves to all the natural rights of mankind and the peculiar 
privileges of Englishmen, equally bound by its laws and equally 
participating of the constitution of this free country. The 
Americans are the sons, not the bastards of England. Taxa- * 
tion is no part of the governing or legislative power. The 
taxes are a voluntary gift and grant of the Commons alone. 

" There is an idea in some that the colonies are virtually 
represented in this House. I would fain know by whom an 
American is represented here. Is he represented by any knight 
of the shire in any county in this kingdom ? Would to God 
that respectable representation was augmented to a greater 
number. Or will you tell him that he is represented by any 
representative of a borough — a borough which, perhaps, no 
man ever saw ? This is what is called the rotten part of the 
constitution. It cannot continue a century. If it does not 
drop, it must be amputated. The idea of a virtual representa- 
tion of America in this House is the most contemptible idea 
that ever entered into the head of man. It does not deserve 
a serious refutation." 1 

On the close of this speech there was a long pause. Then 
General Conway arose, and expressed his concurrence in the 
views of Mr. Pitt. Grenville was the next speaker ; and he 
brought to the task all his energies. In the outset he censured 
the ministry severely for not giving earlier notice of the dis- 
turbances in America ; " for," said he, " they began in July, and 

1 Pari. Hist. Eng. iv. 28S-291 ; Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 130-132 j 
Bancroft, v. 


chap, now we are in the middle of January. Lately they were only 
^J^ occurrences ; they are now grown to disturbances, to tumults, 
1766. and riots. I doubt they border on open rebellion ; and, if the 
doctrine I have heard this day be confirmed, I fear they will 
lose that name, to take that of revolution. The government 
over them being dissolved, a revolution will take place in 

" I cannot," he continued, " understand the difference between 
external and internal taxes. They are the same in effect, and 
• only differ in name. That this kingdom has the sovereign, the 
supreme legislative power over America, is granted ; it cannot 
be denied ; and taxation is a part of that sovereign power. 
It is one branch of the legislation. It is, it has been, exercised 
over those who are not, who were never represented. It is 
exercised over the India Company, the merchants of London, 
the proprietors of the stocks, and over many great manufactur- 
ing towns. It was exercised over the palatinate of Chestei 
and the bishopric of Durham before they sent any representa- 
tives to Parliament. I appeal for proof to the preambles of 
the acts which gave them representatives. 

" When I proposed to tax America, I asked the House if 
any gentleman would object to the right. I repeatedly asked 
i it ; and no man would attempt to deny it. Protection and 
obedience are reciprocal. Great Britain protects America ; 
America is bound to yield obedience. If not, tell me when 
these Americans were emancipated. When they want the 
protection of this kingdom, they are always very ready to ask 
it. That protection has always been afforded them in the most 
full and ample manner. The nation has run itself into an 
immense debt to give them their protection ; and now they are 
called upon to contribute a small share towards the public 
expense, an expense arising from themselves, they renounce 
your authority, insult your officers, and break out, I might 
almost say, into open rebellion." l 

1 Debates in Pari. iv. 292, 293. 


No sooner had G-renville closed than Pitt rose to reply, and, chap. 
by the indulgence of the House, was permitted to proceed. ^Jl^ 
" The gentleman tells us " — such were his words — " America 1766. 
is obstinate ; America is almost in open rebellion. I rejoice 
that America has resisted. Three millions of people, so dead 
to all the feelings of liberty as voluntarily to submit to be 
slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of the 
rest. With the enemy at their back, with our bayonets at their 
breasts, in the day of their distress, perhaps the Americans 
would have submitted to the imposition ; but it would have 
been taking an ungenerous, an unjust advantage. I am no 
courtier of America ; I stand up for this kingdom. I maintain - 
that the Parliament has a right to bind, to restrain America. 
Our legislative power over the colonies is sovereign and su- * 
preme. When it ceases to be sovereign and supreme, I would 
advise every gentleman to sell his lands, if he can, and embark 
for that country. When two countries are connected together, 
like England and her colonies, without being incorporated, the 
one must necessarily govern ; the greater must rule the less ; 
but so rule it as not to contradict the fundamental principles * 
that are common to both. 

" The gentleman asks, When were the colonies emancipated ? ■ 
But I desire to know when they were made slaves. He must 
not wonder he was not contradicted when, as the minister, he 
asserted the right of Parliament to tax the colonies. I know 
not how it is, but there is a modesty in this House which does 
not choose to contradict a minister. Even your chair, sir, 
looks too often towards St. James's. I wish gentlemen would 
get the better of this modesty. If they do not, perhaps the 
collective body may begin to abate of its respect for the rep- 

" A great deal has been said without doors of the power of 
America. It is a topic that ought to be cautiously meddled 
with. In a good cause, on a sound bottom, the force of this 
country can crush America to atoms. I know the valor of 


chap, your troops ; I know the skill of your officers. There is not 
^J^, a company of foot that has served in America, out of which 
1766. you may not pick a man of sufficient knowledge and experience 
to make a governor of a colony there. But on this ground, 
on the stamp act, when so many here will think it a crying 
injustice, I am one who will lift up my hands against it. In 
such a cause, your success would be hazardous. America, if 
she fell, would fall like a strong man. She would embrace the 
pillars of the state, and pull down the constitution along with 
her. Let prudence and temper come first from this side ; 

* Be to her faults a little blind ; 
Be to. her virtues very kind; ' 

and I will undertake for America that she will follow the 

" Upon the whole, I will beg leave to tell the House what 
• is really my opinion. It is, that the stamp act be repealed — 
absolutely, totally, and immediately ; that the reason for the 
repeal be assigned — because it was founded on an erroneous 
j principle. At the same time, let the sovereign authority of 
this country over the colonies be asserted in as strong terms 
as can be devised, and be made to extend to every point of 
legislation whatsoever — that we may bind their trade, con- 
fine their manufactures, and exercise every power whatsoever, 
except that of taking their money out of their pockets without 
their consent." * 

Thus he closed ; and his words of fire fixed at once the 

Tan. 14. minds of the wavering. The same day, large extracts from 

the recent correspondence with America were laid on the 

Jan. 17. table ; 2 and, three days later, petitions for the repeal from the 

merchants of London trading to North America, and similar 

petitions from Birmingham, Coventry, Bristol, Liverpool, Man- 

1 Debates in Pari. iv. 294-298 ; 2 This correspondence is given in 
Mass. Gazette for May 8, 1765. Pari. Debates, iv. 301 et seq. 


Chester, and other towns, were presented. 1 Towards the last chap 
of the month the House resolved itself into a committee of the ^Jl^ 
whole to consider these petitions ; and the sittings of the com- 1766. 
mittee were continued into the next month. Before this com- Feb. 3. 
mittee 2 Dr. Franklin was summoned; and his examination 
excited the surprise of his auditors. No previous event, 
indeed, had given him such celebrity. The promptness and 
pertinency of his replies, the breadth and soundness of his 
political views, and the boldness and candor with which he 
expressed them, were regarded with admiration when the results 
of the examination were published. 3 " The American people," » 
said he, " will never submit to this act, unless compelled by 
force of arms. Before this act passed the temper of that people 
towards Great Britain was the best in the world. They sub- 
mitted willingly to the government of the crown, and paid, in 
their courts, obedience to the acts of Parliament. Natives of 
Britain were always treated with particular regard. To be an 
Old England man was of itself a character of respect, and 
gave a kind of rank among us. The authority of Parliament ■ 
was allowed to be valid in all laws, except such as should lay 
internal taxes. They considered the Parliament as the great 
bulwark and security of their liberties and privileges, and 
always spoke of it with the utmost respect and veneration. 
Arbitrary ministers, they thought, might possibly, at times, 
attempt to oppress them ; but they relied on it that the Parlia- 
ment, on application, would always give redress. But that 
respect is now greatly lessened ; and a concurrence of causes 
has contributed to produce this result, among which the stamp 
act is most prominent. This act, even if modified, will never , 
be submitted to ; and any other act, based upon the same prin- 
ciples, will be received in the same way. The manufactures 

1 On the 13th December, 1765, the 2 The date is February 3 in Sparks, 

merchants of London waited upon the February 13 in Bancroft, 

ministry to solicit a repeal of the stamp 3 Sparks's Franklin, iv. 161. 
act. Mass. Gaz. for Feb. 13, 1766. 


chap, of England are not absolutely necessary ; for there is not a 
^^^ single article imported into the northern colonies but what 
1766. they can either do without or make themselves. With industry 
and good management, they may very well supply themselves 
with all they want. In manufactures they have made a sur- 
prising progress already. And I am of opinion that, before 
their old clothes are worn out, they will have new ones of their 
own making. In three years wool enough can be raised to 
supply their wants. Should a military force be sent to Amer- 
ica to enforce this act, it will be of no avail. They will find 
no one in arms ; what are they then to do ? They cannot force 
a man to take stamps who chooses to do without them. They 
will not find a rebellion ; they may indeed make one. If the 
act is not repealed, I foresee a total loss of the respect and 
affection the people of America bear to this country, and of all 
the commerce that depends on that respect and affection. Peo- 
ple will pay as freely to gratify one passion as another — their 
resentment as their pride. They will pay no internal tax ; 
but requisitions may be granted on application in the usual 
form. They will never repeal the resolutions which have been 
passed in their assemblies, and acknowledge the right of Par- 
liament to lay internal taxes. No power, how great soever, 
can force them to change their opinions. And whereas it was 
once the pride of the people of America to indulge in the 
fashions and manufactures of Great Britain, it is now their 
pride to wear their old clothes over again, until they can make 
new ones." l 

For some time the question of repeal remained in suspense. 
The friends of Grenville joined with him in denouncing the 
measure, and insisted that the stamp act should be rigidly en- 
forced ; and once, in both Houses, they succeeded in obtaining 
a majority on their side. 2 But the friends of America contin- 

1 Sparks's Franklin, iv. 162-198; or Documents, 64-81, &c. 
Debates in Pari. iv. 323-345 j Pri- 2 Bancroft, v. 413, 417. 


ued inflexible, and, watching every opportunity to accomplish chaf 
their purpose, when Grenville, to test the temper of the Com- x * 
mons, introduced a resolution tending to enforce the execution 1766. 

. Feb. 7. 

of all acts, — meaning specially the stamp act, — Pitt sprang 
to his feet, and called on the House not to order the enforce- 
ment of the stamp act before they had decided the question of 
repeal. Grenville replied, and denounced bitter curses on the 
ministers who should sacrifice the sovereignty of England over 
her colonies ; but when the question was taken on his motion 
to enforce the act, it was rejected in a full House by more 
than two to one. 1 This triumph paved the way for further 
measures ; and, two weeks later, the crisis came. Every seat Feb. 21 
in the House was occupied. Between four and five hundred 
members were present. Pitt was there, notwithstanding his 
illness. Merchants from all parts thronged the gallery, the 
lobby, and the stairs. Many Americans were likewise in at- 
tendance. Conway led the debate ; and, in the name of the 
government, moved for leave to bring in a bill to repeal the 
stamp act. If the act was not repealed, he predicted both 
France and Spain would declare war, and protect the malcon- 
tents. Jenkinson, on the other side, moved a modification of 
the act, and insisted that its repeal would be the overthrow > 
of the authority of Great Britain in America. Burke replied 
in his happiest manner ; and a visible impression was made 
by his speech. At length, about eleven, Pitt rose ; and his 
speech was at once both fervid and winning. Avoiding ex- 
pressions which might give offence, and candidly acknowledg- 
ing the perplexity of his own mind in choosing between two 
ineligible alternatives, he yet pleaded for the repeal of the act 
as due to the people of America, and as a measure of leniency 
which would tend to conciliate. The reply of Grenville was 
in his customary strain. " America must learn," said he, in 
conclusion, " that prayers are not to be brought to Caesar • 
through riot and sedition." 2 

1 Bancroft, v. 423, 424. * Bancroft, t. 



At half past one on the ensuing morning the division took 
place, and Conway's motion was triumphantly carried. The 
1768. votes against it were one hundred and sixty-seven ; those in 

Feb. 22. . J ' 

its favor were two hundred and seventj'-five. 1 As Pitt stepped 
forth from the House that night, the huzzas 'of the crowd 
greeted his appearance. Every head was uncovered ; and 
many, in token of their respect and gratitude, followed his 
chair home. 2 But Grenville was saluted with scorn and hisses. 
Swelling with rage and mortification, he seized the man near- 
est to him roughly by the collar. " If I may not hiss," said 
he, " at least I may laugh ; " and he laughed aloud in Gren- 
ville's face. The jest caught, and the multitude applauded. 3 
The last division on the repeal of the act was still more deci- 

Mar. 4. sive ; and at midnight, on the fourth of March, the question, 
in the House of Commons, was disposed of by a vote of two 
hundred and fifty in favor of the repeal, and one hundred and 
twenty-two in opposition. 4 In the House of Lords the bill 

Mar. 17. was debated ; but even there it was carried by a majority of 
thirty-four. 5 

Mar. is. On the eighteenth of March the repeal of the stamp act 
was sanctioned by the king. The friends of America were 

1 For the names of the members 
voting against the repeal, see Debates 
in Pari. iv. 346-350. 

2 Bancroft, v. 

3 Lord Orford's Mems. ii. 299; 
Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 141, note. 
H. Lyman, of Connecticut, in a letter 
to Governor Fitch, dated February 
26, gives an account of the repeal of 
the act. " This act," says he, " had 
taken so strong hold of the people's 
minds by the artifice of the late ad- 
ministration and their tools, that but 
very few here thought it in the power 
of this wise administration to procure 
a repeal. Yet, sensible of the jus- 
tice of the cause, they undertook it, 
though they knew it would cost them 
their posts if it failed. The merchants 
of London, and mechanics throughout 
the kingdom, gave all the assistance 

in their power, and the Americans who 
are here have contributed every thing 
they could to the same purpose. The 
Grenvillian party did all they could to 
defeat the design ; but in spite of their 
efforts, a committee . of the whole 
House of Commons came into the to- 
tal repeal of the act, by 275 against 
167 ; and after reporting to the House, 
the dispute was revived by a thinner 
House, and was carried, 240 against 
133. Every inch of ground was dis- 
puted." Trumbull MSS. in Lib. Mass. 
Hist. Soc. ii. 78. See also R. Jack- 
son, in ibid. ii. 78, under date Feb. 
27 ; and Conway to Fitch, March 1, 
in ibid. ii. 79. 

4 Bancroft, v. 445. 

5 Debates in Pari. iv. 367 ; Lord 
Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 142 ; Bancroft, 
v. 453. 


transported with joy ; Bow Bells merrily clanged the peal of chap. 
triumph ; the ships on the Thames displayed all their colors ; ^J^ 
bonfires blazed as night set in ; and houses were illuminated all 176s. 
over the city. It is an honor to the English nation that the 
people at large entered so fully into the spirit of the occasion. 
Grenville was defeated ; but liberty had triumphed. 1 

1 For particulars relative to these a preliminary meeting was held in 

proceedings, see Mass. Gazette for Boston upon the repeal; but the 

April 3 and 25, 1766 ; and comp. news of the passage of the bill had 

Bancroft, v. 454. On the 3d of April not then arrived. 



chap. The repeal of the stamp act awakened in America the live- 
^^ liest joy. 1 The declaratory act with which it was accompa- 
1766. nied, which asserted the authority of Parliament to " bind the 
ay ' colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever/ 7 was 
less acceptable. 2 Intelligent patriots saw in this act enough 
to excite serious alarm ; and the display of lenity on the part 
of the ministry was viewed as a politic stroke — a sort of spe- 
cific to close over the wound which was far from being healed. 
The statesmen of England, at least the advocates of arbitrary 
measures, could brook no acknowledgment that they had fallen 
into an error. A majority, indeed, of the House of Commons, 
and of the House of Lords, chose to temporize rather than 
resort to open violence. Yet, sincere in their conviction that 
the power of Parliament was indisputable and absolute, the 
only questions seriously discussed were the expediency of exer- 
cising that power, and how far it should be pushed. To assert 
without maintaining the supremacy of Parliament, it was ac- 
knowledged, would be a dereliction of the honor and dignity 
of government. Hence the declaratory act was intended to 
be significant. True, in one sense it was a "salvo to the 
wounded pride of England," — that " bridge of gold " which, 

1 " It hushed into silence almost act were published in the Mass. Ga- 
every popular clamor, and composed zette for May 22, 1766. See also 
every wave of popular disorder into a Conway to the Governor of Connecti- 
smooth and peaceful calm." J. Ad- cut, March 31, 1766, in MS. Letters 
ams's Diary, in Works, ii. 203. and Papers, 1761-1776. 

2 The repeal and the declaratory 



according to the French saying, should always be allowed to a chap. 
retreating assailant, 1 — but, at the same time, it was designed ^^ 
to preserve the form of authority ; and it was well understood 1756. 
that, if it had not been for this, the stamp act would never 
have been repealed. 2 

But if the declaratory act was unacceptable to America, it 
did not prevent the colonies from acknowledging the relief 
afforded by the repeal of the stamp act. Hence, at the session 
of the General Court, an address to the king was prepared jun. 19. 
by a committee, of which Cushing was chairman ; 3 a vote « 
of thanks to William Pitt was unanimously passed, "for his 
noble and generous efforts in behalf of the common rights of 
mankind and the liberties of Great Britain and her colonies ; " 4 
and the grateful acknowledgments of the province were ten- 
dered to other distinguished gentlemen. 5 For the rejoicings 
of the people a day had been previously appointed and ob- 
served. Liberty Tree was the centre of attraction ; and thither May 19. 
the multitude was called at an early hour by the ringing of 
bells and the booming of cannon. Vast crowds paraded the 
streets ; pendants waved in every direction ; and the steeples 
of churches were hung with banners. In the evening the whole 
town was brilliantly illuminated ; images of the king, of Pittj 
of Camden, and of Barre were exhibited in the houses ; and 
Liberty Tree was loaded with lanterns. 6 

1 Belsham's George HI. i. 147 ; 5 To the Dukes of Newcastle, of 
Grahame, ii. 413 ; Lord Mahon's Hist. Grafton, and of Richmond, Lord Stan- 
Eng. v. 144. Comp. Hutchinson, iii. hope, the lord high chancellor, Gen- 
147, and Bradford, i. 81. eral Conway, the Marquis of Rock- 

2 The merchants of London en- ingham, Lord Edgcomb, the Earls of 
treated their brethren in America to Dartmouth, Powlett, Shelburne, Cam- 
take no oifence at this act, but could den, and Egmont, the Hons. George 
give no assurance that it would not Onslow, Arther Onslow, George How- 
be enforced. See Hutchinson, iii. 147 ; ard, Charles Townshend, William 
Bancroft, v. 456. Dowdeswell, and Isaac Barre, Sir 

3 For the address, see Bradford's "William Meredith, Sir William Baker, 
State Papers, 91. Sir George Saville, and George Cooke, 

4 For this vote, and the reply of Esq. Bradford, i. 84 ; State Papers, 
Pitt, see Mass. Gazette for April 16, 92. For the answers of these gentle- 
1767; and comp. Bradford, i. 84, and men, see Bradford, i. 395-398. 
State Papers, 92. 6 On the 21st of April, in anticipa- 

VOL. II. 21 


chap. The annual election took place before the news of the repeal 

_J^ of the stamp act arrived ; but, in expectation of that event, the 

1766. people of Boston, vigilant to preserve the liberties of the prov- 

May 6 ? . L 

mce, selected as their representatives five of the ablest patriots 
May 28. of the town. 1 In the House, the list of councillors was revised ; 
and the names of five — Hutchinson, the Olivers, Trowbridge, 
and Lynde — were dropped. 2 This step, and the course of the 
House in choosing for their speaker James Otis, displeased the 
governor ; and, as he had given notice of his intention to " play 
out his part " as chief magistrate while he had the power, he 
negatived the choice of Otis, and rejected six of the new board 
of councillors. 3 As the explanatory charter sustained him in 
this course, the House acquiesced in the rejection of their 
speaker, and chose in his place Thomas Cushing. The rejec- 
tion of the councillors was also submitted to ; but the governor, 
finding no new choice was made, sought to constrain the elec- 
May 29. tion of those who had been dropped, and, in his message, not 
only predicted the royal displeasure if they persisted in their 
course, but accused them of having determined their votes from 
''private interests and resentments, and popular discontent." 
" It were to be wished/' he added, " that a veil could be drawn 
over the late disgraceful scenes. But that cannot be done 
until a better temper and understanding shall prevail. The 
recent election of councillors is an attack on government in 
form, depriving it of its best and most able servants, whose 

tion of the repeal, the inhabitants of John Hancock. Drake's Boston, 

Boston, at a town meeting duly warn- 719. 

ed, instructed the selectmen to fix a 2 But four of these were dropped 

time for the general rejoicings ; and by the House ; one resigned of his 

on the 16th of May they appointed own accord. The persons chosen in 

Monday, the 19th. Circular, in Lib. their stead were S. Dexter, J. Bowers, 

Mass. Hist. Soc. For an account of J. Otis, J. Gerrish, and T. Saunders, 

the ceremonies, see J. Adams's Diary, J. Adams's Diary, in Works, ii. 195 ; 

in Works, ii. 195. " No rejoicings," Bradford, i. 87, 88. 
says Hutchinson, hi. 147, " since the 3 Otis, Sparhawk, Dexter, Saun- 

revolution, had been equal to those ders, Gerrish, and Bowers were the 

on this occasion." persons rejected. J. Adams's Diary, 

1 James Otis, Thomas Cushing, in Works, ii. 196, 204 ; Hutchinson, 

Samuel Adams, John Howe, and iii. 148. 


only crime is their fidelity to the crown, and is an ill-judged chap. 
and ill-timed oppugnation of the king's authority. 1 ^J^, 

The House, in their reply, repelled the charge of acting 1766. 
from private interests and resentments, and declared that it 
had " ever been their pride to cultivate harmony and union," 
and that they had " given their suffrages according to the dic- 
tates of their consciences and the best light of their under- 
standings." 2 If, by so doing, they had dropped some of the old 
board, they had " released the judges from the cares and per- 
plexities of politics, and given them opportunity to make still 
further advances in the knowledge of the law ; " and this, 
surely, " was not to deprive the government of its best and 
ablest servants, nor could it be called the oppugnation of any 
thing, but of a dangerous union of legislative and executive 
powers in the same persons." 3 Thus the controversy contin- 
ued ; but the House was firm, and begged to be " excused from 
any unnecessary search for palliatives or expedients." The 
vacancies in the board, therefore, remained unfilled ; and from 
this time forward the Council, which had long been the conser- 
vative branch, joined with the House in promoting every meas- 
ure material to the cause in which they had engaged ; and 
James Bowdoin, who succeeded Hutchinson as head of the 
board, obtained greater influence than his predecessor had en- 
joyed, and devoted himself warmly to the cause of freedom. 4 

While this discussion was in progress, changes were taking- 
place in the ministry in England. The Marquis of Rockingham, 
the chief minister, however well intentioned, was lacking in the 
qualities of a great statesman. The excellence of his measures, 
therefore, could not avert from his administration the evils aris- 

1 Mass. Gazette Extra for May 29, 3 Samuel Adams to De Berdt, 1766 ; 
1766; Hutchinson, iii. 148-150; Hutchinson, iii. 150-156 ; Bradford's 
Bradford, i. 87-89, and State Papers, State Papers, 76-81 ; Bancroft, vi. 8. 
74 ; J. Adams's Diary, in Works, ii. 4 Hutchinson, iii. 156. The House, 
204. at this session, opened a gallery for 

2 " They had an undoubted right," the public to attend its debates ; Brad- 
says Hutchinson, " to vote for whom ford, i. 90 ; Bancroft, vi. 13. 

they thought fit" 


chap, ing from his personal deficiencies. The Duke of Grafton threw 
s- J^ w up the seals as secretary of state ; and, after several peers had 
1766. refused them in succession, they were conferred upon the self- 
May 23. confident Duke of Richmond. 1 At the close of the session, the 
June 6. symptoms of dissolution had alarmingly increased ; and, in the 
July 7. ensuing month, an invitation was extended to Pitt to return 
to the cabinet. This invitation was accepted ; and, at a later 
July 30. date, a new ministry was organized, the chief posts being filled 
by the friends of Pitt and the members of the late administra- 
tion. The Duke of Grafton became the head of the treasury ; 
Charles Townshend was appointed chancellor of the exchequer ; 
General Conway was continued secretary of state, with the Earl 
of Shelburne as his colleague ; 2 Sir Charles Saunders was 
placed at the head of the admiralty ; Lord Camden became 
chancellor, and Lord Northington president of the council ; 
and, in the lower ranks, places were bestowed on Lord North, 
and Mr. James Grenville, brother of Lord Temple, and on 
Colonel Barre, the ardent defender of the liberties of Amer- 
ica. 3 " If ever a cabinet," wrote one who made politics his 
study, " can hope for the rare privilege of unanimity, it is this, 
in which Pitt will see none but persons whose imagination he 
has subjugated, whose premature advancement is due to his 
choice, whose expectations of permanent fortune rest on him 
alone." 4 

Behold how shortsighted are the wisest in their speculations 
upon the political conduct of men ! The seeds of dissolution 
were sown in the new ministry at the outset of its career, 
and Pitt was the instrument in scattering them abroad. The 

1 MS. Letter of the Duke of Kich- s Shelburne to the Governor of 
mond to the Governor of Connecticut, Connecticut, Aug. 9, 1766, in Trum- 
May 23, 1766, in Trumbull MSS. ii. bull MSS. ii. 110 ; Pitt to Shelburne, 
87. July 23, 1766, in Chatham Corresp. 

2 Conway was secretary for the iii. 14; Hist, of the War, 36, 37; 
northern department, and Shelburne Mass. Gazette for Sept. 25, 1766 ; 
for the southern. Lord Mahon's Hist. Belsham's George HI. i. 154-156. 
Eng. v. 159 ; Grahame, ii. 420 ; Ban- 4 Durand to Choiseul, July 30 
croft, vi. 5, 21. 1766, in Bancroft, vi. 22. 


"great commoner " had been respected by the people because chap 
by his merits he had raised himself from their ranks to a post ^^_ 
of the highest honor and influence. He now signified his 1766. 
desire to be raised to the peerage ; and the king, in compliance 
with his wishes, created him Earl of Chatham. 1 The col- 
leagues of Pitt, astonished and disheartened, blamed him for 
this step ; and, while some lamented it as an error, others de- 
nounced it as a crime. Certain it is that it weakened his 
influence at court ; and the eclipse of his career dates from this 
period. A twilight of popularity lingered around him ; but it 
faded away every moment. That he had earned the peerage, 
few, perhaps, will dispute, if distinguished merit can ever be 
considered as entitling one to that honor ; but he harmed 'him- 
self by accepting it, for there was a manifest impolicy in his 
quitting the House*, which needed his presence, and upon whose 
floor his laurels had been won. It was esteemed a desertion 
of the popular cause ; and many, who had idolized, could never 
forgive him. He was no longer the exponent of the enthusi- 
asm of the nation, and had cut himself loose from the sympa- 
thy of the masses. None rallied around him as cordially as 
before ; and he was left like the storm-beaten oak, scarred by 
conflicts waged with the elements, shorn of its primitive vigor 
and glory. 2 All his labors in every department of reform 
were unsuccessful. His position debarred him from diminish- 
ing the ascendency of the aristocracy in England ; the envy of 
his associates led them to thwart his favorite plans ; and nei- 
ther the liberties of America, of which he had been the guar- 

1 There had been rumors for some Orford's Mems. George III. ii. 338 ; 
time of Pitt's aspiring to a high- Chatham Corresp. iii. 21 ; Lond. Ga- 
er rank. See Mass. Gazette for zette for July 30, 1766 ; Mass. Gazette 
1765, 1766. " A great commoner, it for Sept. 25, 1766 ; Lord Mahon's 
is said, intends speedily to apply for Hist. Eng. v. 154-162 ; Belsham's 
leave to assume the name and arms George III. i. 159, 160, 193 ; Ban- 
of a lately deceased baronet, who left croft, vi. 18-25. The Mass. Gazette 
him a large fortune." Extract from a for Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 contains ex- 
letter of March 26, 1765, in Mass. tracts from London letters, reflecting 
Gazette for May 16, 1765. severely on Pitt for accepting the 

On the elevation of Pitt, see Lord peerage. 


chap, dian, nor the liberties of India, which he was anxious to secure, 
% J^ w could be effectually promoted, because there were enough to 
1766. throw obstacles in his path and to • baffle him in the execution 
.of his most promising schemes. The infirmities of age, too, 
were creeping upon him ; his hereditary disease had made sad 
havoc with the remnants of his strength ; and he stood as one 
tottering on the brink of the grave, grasping the shadow of 
power for support, while the substance was rapidly vanishing 
before him. 1 

The repeal of the stamp act had been consented to by the 
king as a measure of expediency and mercantile convenience ; 
but he ever lamented it as a " fatal compliance " which had 
11 planted thorns " under his pillow, and preferred the hazard 
of losing the colonies to relinquishing the claim of absolute 
authority. 2 His natural temperament inclined him to insist 
upon the maintenance of his prerogative ; and if, to some, he 
realized the idea of a " patriot king," 3 there were others to 
whom his course was the embodiment of selfishness. In the 
colonies, in particular, while a tender regard for his person 
was expressed, the violence of the measures which had been 
sanctioned by his seal was severely reproved ; and, as the 
May 26? means of security against further aggressions, Boston proposed 
a closer union of the different governments. 4 The necessity 
of such union had long been foreseen ; and if the advances 

1 " I wish," wrote Chesterfield to letter of Sir Andrew Mitchell, in ibid. 

Stanhope, " I could send you all the 42, note. 

pamphlets and half-sheets that swarm 2 A Short History, &c, 18, 19 ; 

here upon this occasion ; but that is Considerations on the Present State 

impossible, for every week would of the Nation, 50 ; Lloyd's Conduct 

make a ship's cargo. It is certain that of the late Admin. 
Mr. Pitt has, by his dignity of earl, 3 Bernard to the General Court, 

lost the greatest part of his popular- and the Reply of the House ; also, 

ity, especially in the city ; and I be- Belsham's George III. i. 3. 
lieve the opposition will be very strong, 4 Instructions to Representatives, 

and perhaps prevail, next session, in in Mass. Gazette for May 29, 1766; 

the House of Commons — there be- Hutchinson to Jackson, June 11, 

ing now nobody there who can have 1766, in MS. Corresp. ; Mayhew to 

the authority and ascendant over them Otis, June 8, 1766, in Bradford's Life 

that Pitt had." Chatham Corresp. iii. of Mayhew, 428, 429. 
2 1, ncte. See also an extract from a 


towards it had hitherto failed, it was not because the scheme chap. 
was impracticable, but because the time for effecting it had not > J?^ m0 
arrived. The conduct of the governor hastened this time. 1766. 
For years he had insisted upon the more perfect subordination 
of the colonies to the crown ; 1 and, as the charters were ob- 
stacles in the way, concurrently with Townshend he declared 
war against them, and in his letters to the ministry complained 
of the elective character of the Council as the " fatal ingredient 
in the provincial constitution." " The only anchor of hope," 
he writes, " is the sovereign power, which would secure obe- July 7. 
dience to its decrees, if they were properly introduced and 
effectually supported." 2 

The effect of these representations was to deepen the dis- 
pleasure of the people of Massachusetts. The repeal of the 
stamp act had led them to hope that their rights and liberties 
would be once more restored ; for " every newspaper and pam- 
phlet, every public and private letter, which arrived in Amer- 
ica from England, seemed to breathe a spirit of benevolence, 
tenderness, and generosity." 3 But the enemies of America 
were not silenced ; and, still resolute to enforce the authority 
of Parliament, Governor Bernard renewed his complaints of 
"illicit trade," and endeavored to compel obedience to the 
laws. The anniversary of the outbreak against the stamp act Aug.14 
was celebrated in Boston with great parade ; and the reports 
sent to England set forth in glowing terms the " treasonable " 
conduct of the " Sons of Liberty," who had drunk to the health 
of Otis, " the American Hampden, who first proposed the con- 

1 See his letters and speeches. the mildest, softest, most lenient and 

2 Bernard to the Lords of Trade, conciliating measures ; and even the 
July 7, 1766 ; Bancroft, vi. 16. resolve of the House of Commons and 

3 John Adams's Diary, in Works, the recommendation of his majesty, 
ii. 203. " The utmost delicacy," he concerning an indemnification to the 
adds, " was observed in all the state sufferers, was conceived in the most 
papers in the choice of expressions, alluring language. Oblivion of every 
that no unkind impression might be disagreeable circumstance which had 
left upon the minds of the people in happened through the warmth of the 
America. The letters from the min- people, in the late unhappy times, was 
•«try to the governor recommended recommended in the strongest terms." 


chap, gress ; " to " the brave sons of liberty throughout America ; ,; 
i J^_ to " the spark of liberty kindling in Spain ; " and " success to 
1766. Paoli and the struggling Corsicans." * 

The requisition of the -ministry, forwarded in a letter from 
Secretary Conway, 2 that compensation should be made to the 
sufferers by the " riots " of the preceding year, was briefly con- 
June 3. sidered by the General Court in the summer, and more fully 
Nov. in the fall ; but, though most of the towns left the matter to 
the discretion of their representatives, 3 a majority of the House 
determined against a compensation by tax. The discussion 
on this point was sharp and spirited. Joseph Hawley, a law- 
yer of Northampton, of unblemished integrity, was the princi- 
pal speaker ; and he opposed relief except on condition of a 
general amnesty. " Of those seeking compensation," said he, 
" the chief," referring to Hutchinson, " is a person of unconsti- 
tutional principles, as one day or other he will make appear." 
The resolves of Parliament were cited in vain. " The Parlia- 
ment of Great Britain," was the reply, " has no right to legis- 
late for us." At these words Otis sprang to his feet, and, 
bowing to the speaker, thanked him, saying, "He has gone 
further than I myself have as yet done in this House." 4 At 
length, as an act of generosity rather than of justice, a grant 
was proposed to be passed through the formalities of a law, 
which should concurrently extend a free pardon to those who 

1 Oliver to , May 7, 1767; 93-96. The message of Bernard, on 

Mass. Gazette for Aug, 14 and Aug. presenting this letter, was conceived 

21,1766. Loyal toasts were not for- in the haughtiest terms; and "it 

gotten; for the health of the king and seemed," says Grahame, ii. 414, "as 

his family was drunk, and one of the if, in the fervor of his zeal for British 

sentiments expressed the wish that dignity, he sought to repudiate every 

" the union between Great Britain semblance of approach to courtesy or 

and the colonies " might "never be condescension towards the colonists." 

dissolved." 3 The instructions of the town of 

2 The letter of Conway, dated March Boston to its representatives are given 
31, was received May 3*1, and laid be- in the Mass. Gazette for Oct, 9, 1766. 
fore the House June 3. Mass. Ga- 4 Hutchinson to Williams, Dec. 7, 
zette Extra for June 4, and Gazette 1766, in Williams MSS. 161; Ber- 
for June 5 and 12 ; Prior Doc'ts, 103 nard to Shelburne, Dec. 24, 1766. 
-108; Bradford State Papers, 81-91, 


had been engaged in the " riots." The bill for this purpose chap. 
was ordered to be printed, and sent to the towns ; and, after ^J^ 
a short recess, when the court again met, it was passed to be 1766. 

Dec 6 

enacted by a vote of fifty- three to thirty-five ; the Council 
concurred ; and the governor, after some hesitation, gave his 
assent. 1 

The laws of trade, which the governor sought to enforce, 
had always been oppressive. It was a narrow policy which 
led to the passage of these laws ; and the distinctions made 
between citizens of America and citizens of England could not 
but give offence to the colonies. The duties imposed upon 
articles imported into the provinces were so high, that, with 
the added restrictions on commercial enterprise, no profits 
accrued. To these laws, which had been recently revised in 
England, 2 attention was now turned ; and committees were 
appointed by the General Court to consider the difficulties Nov.13. 
which embarrassed the commerce of the country, and to pro- 
pose measures for remedying these evils. 3 

Nor was this the only step which awakened resentment. 
Towards the close of the year, two companies of royal artillery Dec. 
were driven into the harbor of Boston by " stress of weather ; " 
and, as the General Court was not then in session, the gov- 
ernor, by advice of Council, directed that provision should be 
made for them at the barracks, at the expense of the province. 
For this assumption of authority he was called to an account ; Jan. 30. 

1 Hutchinson, iii. 150-160; Brad- Hist. Eng. v. 181. According to 

ford's State Papers, 97-101; Mass. Hutchinson's statements, Bernard was 

Gazette for Nov. 20, 1766 ; Prior partly governed by policy in assent- 

Doc'ts, 113-118, 123, 134, 135 ; Shel- ing to this bill, as he knew that the 

burne to Pitt, Feb. 1, 1767, in Chat- clause relating to the compensation 

ham's Corresp. iii. 186. Some of the of the sufferers would go into im- 

towns opposed making a compensa- mediate effect, and could not be re- 

tion. J. Adams's Diary, in Works, ii. called even if the act was subsequently 

204. The act was annulled by the rejected. 

king; but the annulment obtained lit- 2 Debates in Pari. iv. 354 et seq. j 

tie notice, and produced no effect. Hutchinson, iii. 164. 

Prior Doc'ts, 134-142 ; Chatham Cor- 3 Jour. H. of R. for 1766 ; Mass. 

resp. iii. 255 ; Stedman's Am. War, i. Gazette for Nov. 20, 1766 ; Bradford, 

50 ; Adolphus, i. 260 ; Lord Mahon's i. 93. 


chap, and, though he pleaded in his justification the necessity of the 
^Jzf^ case and the act of Parliament, the requirements of which he 
1767. had followed, the court protested against his proceedings, and 
declared that with them alone, and not with the chief magis- 
trate, resided the power of raising and appropriating supplies 
for the public service. 1 The presence of an armed soldiery in 
their midst the people were little disposed to view with favor ; 
and it was apprehended — and justly — that disturbances 
would be increased rather than diminished. 2 

Meanwhile, in England, the political elements were in an 
unsettled state ; and the scramble for office and the emolu- 
ments of office had reached such a height that patriotism was 
merged in selfishness and cupidity. The conduct of the minis- 
try was fickle and inconstant. Pitt, who had been driven into 
retirement by nervous prostration, and who with a trembling 
hand, but a sincere heart, had attempted to guide the course 
of affairs, was absent from his post ; and events were left to 
shape themselves. The cabinet was divided ; Parliament was 
unruly ; private dissensions and bickerings arose ; a deadly 
jealousy was kindled between Grafton and Shelburne ; Towns- 
hend assumed to himself airs of importance ; and the trustiest 
men were sadly perplexed. 3 The parties out of office rallied 

1 Bernard to Shelburne, Dec. 6 and enforce an act of Parliament. Noth- 
24, 1766; Prior Doe'ts, 126-129, 133, ing would so soon throw the people 
134 ; Jour. H. of R. for 1766 ; Brad- into a flame. No one measure I could 
ford, i. 97, 98, and State Papers, 105 think of would so effectually drive 
-108; Hutchinson, hi. 168-171 ; Bos- them into resolutions which, in the 
ton Gazette for Feb. 9, 16, and 23, end, would prove detrimental to Great 
1767 ; Mass. Gazette for Feb. 5, 19, Britain — I mean, living as much as 
and 26, and March 12, 1767. In May, possible within ourselves, and using as 
1767, a few recruits for the 14th regi- few as possible of your manufactures." 
ment arrived in Boston, and were quar- 3 See Chat. Corresp. iii. 136-139, 
tered by the governor at the Castle, and notes. " Such a state of affairs," 
and the controversy was renewed, wrote Chesterfield, " was never seen 
Bradford's State Papers, 109-112. before, in this or in any other country. 

2 " Nothing," says Thomas Cush- When this ministry shall be settled, it 
ing, (letter of May 9, 1767, in MS. will be the sixth in six years' time." 
Letters and Papers, 1761-1776, in " We have had a busy month," wrote 
Lib. Mass. Hist. Soc.,) " would have Horace "Walpole, " and many gram- 
so direct a tendency to bring us into bles of a state-quake." " Never," 
such a state as sending troops here to wrote Lord Charlemont, Feb. 19 


for a new struggle ; and of those in office, some broke loose chap 
from all restraint. Townshend, in particular, whose indiscre- s J^ w 
tion forbade esteem, but whose good humor dissipated hate, 1767. 
as if hurried away by the levity of his temper, delivered in the 
House of Commons several speeches, both admired for their 
eloquence and censured for their wildness. In one of these 
speeches, styled his " Champagne Speech," because delivered 
on his return from a convivial dinner, he descanted upon the 
times, the parties, and their leaders, and declared that " the 
government had become what he himself had been often called 
— a weathercock" 1 In another of his vain and capricious 
moods, he threw out a pledge that he would find means to Jan. 26 
raise a revenue from America which should be free from of- 
fence. " I am still," said he, " a firm advocate for the stamp 
act — for its principle, and for the duty. I laugh at the dis- 
tinction between internal and external taxes. I know no such 
distinction. It is perfect nonsense." Then, looking to the 
galleries, where the agents of the colonies were seated, he add- 
ed, " I speak this aloud, that all you in the galleries may hear 
me." In conclusion, he struck his hand upon the table, and 
said, " England is undone, if this taxation in America is given 
up." 2 Nor did Townshend stand alone. Even Camden, who 

1767, " was known such disunion, such House of Commons, Charles Towns- 

a want of concert, as visibly appears hend has given himself more ministe- 

on both sides. How it will end Heav- rial airs than Lord Chatham will, I 

en only knows. One thing, however, believe, approve of." Chesterfield to 

appears very extraordinary, if not in- his Son, Feb. 19, 1767, in Chatham 

decent. No member of the opposition Corresp. iii. 170, note, 
speaks without directly abusing Lord 2 Johnson to Pitkin, Feb. 12, 1767; 

Chatham, and no friend ever rises to Cavendish Debates, i. 213 ; Chatham 

take his part. Qui non defendit alio Corresp. iii. 178, 184, 185 ; Belsham's 

culpante is scarcely a degree less black George III. i. 201, 202 ; Wirt's Pat- 

than absentem qui rodit amicum." rick Henry, 96 ; Lord Mahon's Hist. 

Comp. further the brilliant speech of Eng. v. 180 ; Bradford, i. 93. The 

Edmund Burke on American taxa- Mass. Gazette for July 2, 1767, con- 

tion, delivered in 1774, especially the tains an extract from a letter- dated 

parts referring to Chatham and Towns- London, May 11, in which Townshend 

hend. is represented as holding entirely dif- 

1 Lord Orford's Mems. George HI. ferent language, declaring that he 

iii. 24 and 26, note ; Lord Mahon's would cut off his hand before he 

Hist. Eng. v. 179. " In what little would vote for taxing America, 
business has hitherto been done in the 


chap, had once boldly maintained that taxation and representation 
^J^^ were clearly inseparable, now retracted, and declared that his 
1767. " doubt respecting the right of Parliament to tax America was 
' removed by the declaration of Parliament itself, and that its 
authority must be maintained." l Encouraged by this avowal, 
the friends of Bedford, of Grenville, of Rockingham, and of 
Newcastle forgot for the moment their personal feuds, uniting 
" with others, who had county or popular elections," for the 
overthrow of the ascendency of Chatham; and so well did 
Feb. 27. they succeed in rallying their forces that, in a division on the 
question of a reduction in the land tax, proposed by Towns- 
hend, they were enabled to cast two hundred and six votes 
against one hundred and eighty-eight for the ministry. 2 This 
defeat, the first of importance which the government had sus- 
tained since the days of Sir Robert Walpole, prepared the way 
for the withdrawal of Chatham ; and, though' he continued at 
the head of the ministry for over a year, from this time forward 
he remained in seclusion, leaving the factions to shape their 
own courses and fight their own battles. 

Yet the confidence of Massachusetts in the justness of her 
cause strengthened, instead of wavering, as the schemes of the 
ministry were more fully developed ; and Otis, and Adams, and 
Hawley, and others scanned more closely and resisted more 
strenuously every measure which could imply their consent to* 
the right of taxation of the colonies by Parliament. 3 The 
crown officers, indeed, both here and elsewhere, labored to 

1 W. S. Johnson to Roger Sher- inhabitants of Boston, with members 
man, Sept. 28, 1768, in MS. Letters of the House when the court was in 
and Papers, 1760-1776, fol. 84 ; Wal- session, were held at least once a week, 
pole, ii. 418 ; Bancroft, vi. 56. at regular places ; and at these meet- 

2 Cooke to Chatham, Feb. 27, 1767, ings necessary measures were project- 
in Chatham Corresp. in. 222 ; Grafton ed and settled, and from hence it was 
to Chatham, Feb. 28, 1767, in ibid, supposed the newspapers were gener- 
iii. 224; Grenville Corresp. iv. 212- ally furnished with speculations and 
214; Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. compositions for the service of the 
177 ; Bancroft, vi. 60. cause in which they were engaged. 

3 Mass. Gazette for March 9, 1767 ; Hist. iii. 167. Comp. Diary of J. 
Bancroft, vi. 50. Hutchinson says Adams, in Works, ii. passim, 
•neetings of a select number of the 


suppress the spirit of freedom ; but with whatever sincerity chap. 
Shelburne, as secretary for the southern department, assured ^_^_ 
the people they "might be perfectly easy about the enjoyment 1767. 
of their rights and privileges under the present administra- 
tion " and sought to relieve the burdens which pressed so 
heavily upon them, he could not suspend the declaratory act, 
nor insure exemption from further oppressions, but asserted 
that " the dignity of the government must be maintained." l 
He was fully aware that, if the Americans " should be tempted Feb, 16 
to resist in the last instance," France and Spain would avail 
themselves of the opening to break the " peace, the days of 
which they had already begun to count." 2 Prudence, there- 
fore, constrained him to consider the American question, and 
to prepare for its solution • and the ill health of Chatham and 
the disorders in the cabinet furnished additional reasons for 

The course of study upon which he now entered was one 
which superior talents alone could pursue with success. The 
matters in dispute were such in their nature as to involve the 
broadest and most complicated relations. The British consti- 
tution, the boasted bulwark of the liberties of the nation, had t 
not been matured in a single generation, but was the product 
of the discussions and struggles of centuries. Based upon 
principles which were confirmed by experience and sanctioned 
by the happy results which attended them, it was in itself a 
tower of strength. But that constitution had reached its ma- 
turity before the difficulties with the colonies occurred. The 
growth of these colonies had been so rapid that their present 
importance could not have been anticipated by the sagest econ- 
omist ; and this marvellous expansion of territory and subjects 
presented to the philosopher problems which had never before 

1 Letter of De Berdt, of Sept. 19, 2 Shelburne to Pitt, February 16, 

1766, in Bradford's State Papers, 17,67, in Chatham Correspondence, 

102 ; Hutchinson, iii. 164, note j Gra- iii. 209. 
hame, ii. 421. 


chap, challenged the attention of mankind. No precedents could be 

^_^^ found to fall back upon. Official records furnished no guide. 

1767. Maxims from the files were equally useless. Whatever solution 

was attempted to be given must spring from the fertile brain 

of the statesman. 

The talents which Shelburne brought to this task were re- 
spectable, but not brilliant. His mind could not at a glance 
sweep the horizon of political science, and take in every thing 
that crossed the field of vision ; nor had he the keen intuition 
which, from unpromising and apparently incongruous elements, 
can evolve a consistent, harmonious system. He was honest 
and well-meaning, but by no means a prophet nor a successful 
inventor. He proposed, indeed, changes in certain depart- 
ments which might have allayed the excitement in the colonies, 
had his colleagues approved them. The billeting act, in his 
estimation, could be safely modified ; and, instead of concen- 
trating the troops in the principal towns, he advised that they 
should be scattered along the frontiers, where their presence 
was needed, and where it would provoke neither jealousy nor 
distrust. The principle upon which this act was based he also 
# condemned, as establishing a " precedent which might hereafter 
be turned to purposes of oppression." 1 The political depend- 
ence of the judges he objected to, and advised that their com- 
missions should conform to the precedents followed in England. 2 
He likewise advised the settlement of disputed boundaries. 3 
And other matters, of minor importance, which were complained 
of as grievances, engaged his attention. 

The zeal with which the secretary advocated these changes 

fastened upon him the suspicion of his associates, and led them 

to view him as "an enemy," who should be watched. The 

* king demanded that submission should precede favor ; that the 

1 Shelburne to Gage, Dec. 11, 3 Shelburne to Bernard, Dec. 11, 
1766, and to Chatham, Feb. 6 and 1766 ; Bernard to Shelburne, Feb. 
16, 1767. 28 and March 23, 1767 \ Hutchinson, 

2 Moore to Shelburne, Feb. 1, 1767. iii. 177. 



colonies should evince a loyal spirit before attention was paid chap. 
to their clamors ; " otherwise," said he, " we shall soon be no ^J^_ 
better than savages.' 7 1 Accordingly, he declared that the bil- 1767. 
leting- act should be enforced, and that no relaxation of its 
provisions should be made. 2 In no other way could the de- 
pendence of the colonies be secured. They were already on 
the verge of rebellion ; and firmness alone could check the 
licentiousness of opinion which was spreading. 

De Choiseul, the minister of France at St. James's, was no 
inattentive observer of these movements ; and, satisfied that 
the crisis was near, at his instance De Kalb, an officer of Ger- # 
man extraction, was sent to America, to investigate the condi- Apr. 22. 
tion of the colonies and the strength of their purpose to engage 
in a revolt. Should he find a plan of operations matured, he 
was to report the names of those who were to lead, and the 
resources of the government in troops and munitions. 3 But 
this commission was premature ; for, such was the forbearance 
of the colonies, no open rupture was contemplated or advised. 
There were those, indeed, who felt that the struggle must even- 
tually come ; but, had moderate counsels prevailed with the * 
ministry, its advent would have been delayed, if not prevented. 

The conduct of Townshend precipitated this struggle. He * 
had given a pledge that he would find means to raise a revenue Jan. 27 
from America which should be free from offence ; and Gren- * 
ville, the " outed proposer of the stamp act," 4 who had listened 
with an almost savage joy to the speech of the chancellor, 
demanded the fulfilment of this pledge. In compliance with 

1 Grafton's Autobiog. ; George HI. at present the devil seems to have * 
to Conway, Sept. 20, 1766. taken possession of their understand- 

2 "The American papers," wrote ings." Chatham Corresp. iii. 25 1. See 
Beckford to Chatham, April 29, 1767, also Sherburne to Chatham, Feb. 1767, 
" are to be taken into consideration on in ibid. iii. 187, 207, 209. 

the morrow ; and I hear the quartering 3 Choiseul to De Kalb, April 20 

act is to be enforced, in violentid, et and 22, 1767 ; De Kalb to Choiseul, 

prava voluntate. If so, adieu peace and April 24, 1767, in Bancroft, vi. 67 j 

comfort ! A former administration, Grahame, ii. 427, 428, and notes, 

by their ill-conceived projects, made 4 Franklin's paper of 1768, in 

the Americans stark staring mad j and Works, iv. 247 j Prior Dcc'ts, 228. 


chap, this demand, the chancellor came forward with the scheme he 

^^ had matured ; and, while the doors of the House, by a special 

1767. order, were shut against the agents of the colonies, and even 

to 15. against every American merchant, he proposed a tax on glass, 

paper, painters' colors, and tea, to be paid as impost duties, 

from which an income of from thirty-five to forty thousand 

pounds a year might be realized. This scheme was agitated 

for some weeks. Lord Camden objected to it, and Jackson 

foretold the evils that would follow ; but the consent of the 

ministers was obtained, and the act passed both Houses with 

Jun.^9. but little opposition, and was approved by the king. 1 

It is evident that the passage of this bill, which would hardly 
have been consented to had Chatham been at his post, was not 
a little forwarded by the influence of Paxton, a citizen of Bos- 
ton in the confidence of Townshend, who had been sent from 
America at the instance of Bernard, and Hutchinson, and Oli- 
ver, to appear as the advocate of the officers of the crown, and 
to mature a scheme for a Board of Customs. 2 Both Bernard 
and Hutchinson seem, at this time, to have resolved to push 
matters to the utmost extremity ; and the latter, in particular, 
resenting the conduct of the General Court, which had cen- 

1 7 Geo. m. c. 46 ; Walpole's reign of the late king. It could not 
Mems. George HI. iii. 28; Belsham's be pretended 'with consistency and 
George HE. i. 204 ; Cavendish De- plausibility that the same power did 
bates, i. 38, 39, 213 ; Mass. Gazette not now inhere in the British Parlia- 
for July 2, 1767 ; Boston Gazette for ment ; but it was at the same time im- 
Oct. 12, 1767; Hutchinson, iii. 179; possible. not to discern that this power 
Franklin's Works, vii. 333 ; Grahame, was, in the present instance, exercised 
ii. 423, 424 ; Bradford, i. 93 ; Lord with a very different intention and for 
Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 180, 181, and the accomplishment of a very different 
Mems. Duke of Grafton, in ibid. App. object, and that, by a species of artifice 
xvii. ; Bancroft, vi. 47, 75-78. "It unworthy of a great nation, an attempt 
had ever been uniformly acknowl- was now made to inveigle them into 
edged," says Belsham, George HI. i. the payment of that revenue which 
204, " that Great Britain possessed could not be extorted by means more 
the right of commercial regulation direct and unequivocal." 
and control; it could not be denied 2 Bradford, i. 120, 121; Bancroft, 
that port duties had been at former vi. 32, 47. There is a portrait of Pax- 
periods imposed for the purpose of ton at the rooms of the Mass. Hist. 
commercial regulation, particularly by Soc, deposited by Peter Wainwright, 
the act passed in the sixth year of the Jr., Esq. 


sured his intrusion into the Council, of which he was not a chap. 
member, on the day when the governor read his message, took ^J^, 
it as a personal affront, which soured his temper and increased 1767. 


the violence of his opposition to their proceedings. 1 The gov- 
ernor, indeed, from his official position, was expected to side 
with the ministry ; 2 and, in some cases, his dissent from the 
action of the court was proper and politic. But, a royalist at 
heart, and a supporter of the prerogative, his opinions on meas- 
ures of public concern were too much in unison with those of 
the enemies of America to admit the supposition that his pro- 
fessions of regard to the interests of the province were cordial 
and sincere ; and much of the disturbance of this and the fol- 
lowing years must be attributed to him. He was in close 
correspondence with the active advocates of the taxation of 
the colonies ; and his misrepresentations were eagerly seized 
and quoted as arguments to prove the necessity of curbing 
the disloyal spirit by which, it was alleged, the people were 

Hutchinson, more cautious and crafty in his movements, 
dared not so openly avow his opinions ; yet, guarded as was 
his language in most of his letters, to the eyes of the discerning 
occasional passages betrayed his real sentiments, and few could 
mistake his real position. Of the two, Mr. Hutchinson was 
by far the more dangerous ; for the very duplicity which veiled 
his conduct, and the air of honesty which he could so well 

1 On this affair, see Bradford's State popular in this place at this time. It 
Papers, 102-105, and the letter of the has been my misfortune to be gov- 
House of March 16, 1767, to Dennys ernor of this province during a period 
De Berdt ; Bernard to the Secretary when the most favorable representa- 
of State, Feb. 7 and 21, 1767 ; Oliver tion of the proceedings of the assem- 

to , May 7, 1767 ; Hutchinson, blies and the doings of the people 

iii. 173-177; Mass. Gazette for Feb. must occasion his majesty's displeas- 

12 and 19, 1767; Boston Gazette for ure. For these three years past it 

Feb. 23 and April 6, 1767 ; Bancroft, has been impossible to reconcile the 

vi. 50. duty of the governor with pleasing 

2 " Nothing less," wrote Bernard the people ; and it would have been 
to Hillsborough, July 18, 1768, " than so, if a man of greater ability than I 
a general sacrifice of the rights of the pretend to had been in my place." 
sovereign state can make a governor 

VOL. II. 22 


chap, assume, imposed upon many who were ignorant of his true 
^JL^ character, and led them to ascribe to him virtues which he 
1767. never possessed and abilities as a statesman to which he was 
not entitled. To one unacquainted with the part which he 
played, his sketch of the transactions which preceded the rev- 
olution would appear as an impartial, straightforward narra- 
tive. But the inquisitive reader, who compares his account 
with contemporary annals, will easily detect the gloss which 
he gives to many of the scenes his pen has portrayed, and the 
concealments which detract from the truthfulness of his state- 
ments. Implicit reliance can never be placed on partisan 
writers ; and students of history need notf to be told that he 
who treats of matters in which he was personally concerned 
appears as the advocate pleading his own cause, and sitting in 
.judgment on those who were opposed to him. 1 

The new scheme of taxation which Townshend had proposed, 
conjoined with the establishment of a Board of Customs 2 and 

* the legalization of writs of assistance, 3 was more subversive of 
the rights of the colonies than the stamp act, which Grenville 

• had pressed upon Parliament. 4 In effect, it was a menace of 
perpetual servitude. The revenue accruing from the duties 
imposed was to be disposed of at the king's pleasure, under his 
sign manual, and, by one of the provisions of the act, was to be 
principally employed in the support of the officers of the crown, 
to secure their independence of the colonial legislatures. 5 The 
power of the king over his cabinet had been sensibly strength- 
ened by recent occurrences ; and Grafton, who was left with 
the position of prime minister, was completely under his con- 

1 Comp. Bradford, i. 86. cernment and good judgment that the 

2 Acts 7 Geo. ill. c. 41. May 26, people through the continent are much 
1767, it was ordered in the House of more alarmed at the late acts than 
Commons that a bill be brought in they were at the stamp act ; and it 
for establishing a Board of Customs would be vastly more difficult to rec- 
in America Mass. Gazette for Aug. oncile the people to them." T. Cush- 
27, 1767. ing to De Berdt, July 13, 1768. 

3 Bancroft, vi. 84. 5 Mulford's N. Jersey, 376 ; Brad- 

4 " It is the opinion of men of dis- ford, vi. 96. 


trol. 1 Yet the nation at large was a gainer by these factions ; chap. 
and, as the influence of the aristocracy lessened, the people, ^_^ 
whose intelligence was increasing, demanded fuller knowledge 1767. 
of every thing that was passing in Parliament, and the press 
was employed to support their claims. 2 

"The die is thrown," cried the patriots of Boston, when the* Sept. 
news of the passage of the revenue bill arrived. " The Rubi- 
con is passed." "We will form an immediate and universal 
combination to eat nothing, drink nothing, wear nothing im- 
ported from Great Britain." 3 " Our strength consists in union. 
Let us, above all, be of one heart and of one mind. Let us 
call on our sister colonies to join with us in asserting our 
rights. If our opposition to slavery is called rebellion, let us* 
pursue duty with firmness, and leave the event to Heaven." 4 

The fourteenth of August was celebrated as usual ; and the Aug. 14. 
ceremonies of the day served to intensify the abhorrence with 
which the acts of the ministry were viewed. 5 The revenue bill 
was to go into effect in November ; but in the mean time Nov.20. 
Townshend, its author, suddenly died, 6 and Lord North, the Sept. 4. 
eldest son of the Earl of Guilford, who had voted for the stamp 
act and against its repeal, was appointed to his place. 7 The 
new chancellor entered upon his duties at a critical period ; 
yet for fifteen years he remained in the cabinet, lending his 
influence to the measures of the ministry, and standing high in 

1 Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 184 5 5 Boston Gazette for Aug. 17, 1767. 
Bancroft, vi. 94. 6 W. S. Johnson to Dver, Sept. 

2 T. Hollis to A. Eliot, Feb. 23, 12, 1767 ; Mass. Gazette Extra for 
1767. "Power," wrote Durand to Feb. 11, 1769; Chatham Corresp. iii. 
Choiseul, July 21, 1767, (in Bancroft, 284 and note; Lord Mahon's Hist. 
vi. 90,) "has passed into the hands of Eng. v. 184 ; Walpole's Geo. HI. ii. 
the populace and the merchants. The 99 ; Bancroft, vi. 98. 

country is exceedingly jealous of its 7 W. S. Johnson to Got. Pitkin, 

liberty." of Conn., 1767 ; North's Speech in the 

3 Hutchinson's Letter of July 18, House of Commons, March 2, 1769; 
1767 ; Bernard to Shelburne, Sept Letter to Grafton, Sept. 10, 1767 ; 
14, 1767. Lloyd to Lord Littleton, Sept. 17, 

4 Mauduit to Hutchinson, Dec. 10, 1767 ; Belsham's George III. i. 215 ; 
1767; Boston Gazette for Aug. 31, Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 184; 
1767. Bancroft, vi. 99, 100. 


chap, the favor of the king. 1 How the new act should be enforced 

^^ was a question which immediately solicited attention. Should 

1767. the merchants of Boston subscribe to an agreement to import 

no more goods from England, no revenue, of course, would 

be paid into the treasury. But such an agreement Bernard 

thought to be " impracticable." Yet he advised that a regi- 

* ment of soldiers should be sent over, to aid the officers of the 
customs in the discharge of their duties. " Ships of war and 
a regiment," said Paxton, in England, who echoed his wishes, 
" are needed to insure tranquillity." 2 

The board of commissioners was to be established in Boston, 
and it was queried throughout the country how Boston would 
act. " The commissioners," said the more hasty, " must not be 
allowed to land." " Paxton, like Oliver, must be taken to Lib- 
erty Tree or the gallows, and obliged to resign." 3 The press 
spoke boldly, counselling resistance, 4 and declared that those 
who had attempted this barbarous violation of their most 
sacred rights deserved " the name of rebels and traitors, not 
only against the laws of their country and their king, but 

* against Heaven itself." Faith in the integrity of Parliament 
seemed shaken ; 5 and it was thought that there remained no 
alternative but an appeal to Heaven to vindicate their cause. 

Oct. 28. At length the crisis came ; and, towards the last of October, 
the inhabitants of Boston, " ever sensitive to the sound of lib- 
erty," assembled in town meeting, and voted to dispense with 
the importation of a large number of articles of British manu- 
facture, which were particularly specified ; to " adhere to former 
agreements respecting funerals ; and to purchase no new cloth- 
ing for mourning." Committees were appointed to obtain 

1 Bancroft, vi. 100. suffered to land, and did so on the 5th 

2 Bernard to Shelburne, Aug. 31 of November. Hutchinson, iii. 183. 
and Sept. 7, 1767 ; Bollan to Hutch- 4 J. Quincy, under the signature 
inson, Aug. 11, 1767 ; Bancroft, vi. Hyperion, in the Boston Gazette for 
101. Oct. 5, 1767 ; Rogers to Hutchinson, 

3 Bernard to Shelburne, Sept. 21, Dec. 30, 1767. 

1767 ; Hutchinson, iii. 181; Bancroft, 5 Mass. Gazette for Oct. 12, 1767 
vi 102. Yet the commissioners were Boston Gazette for Oct. 19, 1767. 


subscribers to this agreement ; and the resolves were sent into chap. 
all the towns of the province, — many of which returned a ^J^, 
favorable reply, 1 — and abroad to the other colonies. 2 The 1767. 
twentieth of the ensuing month passed without tumult. Pla- Nov.20. 
cards were exhibited and effigies were set up, but the people 
in general were unusually quiet. Otis, at the town meeting 
held to discountenance riot, delivered a speech in which he Nov 
recommended caution, and advised that no opposition should 
be made to the new duties. " The king has the right," said 
he, " to appoint officers of the customs in what manner he 
pleases and by what denominations ; and to resist his authority 
will but provoke his displeasure." 3 Such counsel was displeas- 
ing to the zealous, but it was followed. 

The last change in the ministry in this session of Parliament 
took place in December. The charge of the colonies, which Dec. 27 
had been intrusted to Shelburne, was consigned to a separate 
department, and Lord Hillsborough, who had been " laid up in 
lavender at the post office " 4 until elsewhere wanted, was made 
its secretary ; the place which Conway had filled was given to 
Lord Weymouth ; Earl Gower became lord president ; Rigby 
was made vice treasurer of Ireland, till he could get the pay 
office ; the post office was promised to Sandwich ; and Jenkin- 
son, the former secretary of Grenville, took a seat at the treas- 
ury board. 5 Five of the six here named were the personal 
friends of the Duke of Bedford ; aud the principle upon which - 
they entered the ministry was the maintenance of the authority 
of Parliament over the colonies. 6 The resolutions of the peo- 

1 Mass. Gazette for Nov. 2, 1767; Nov. 21, 1767 ; Hutchinson, iii. 180, 
Bradford, i. 122. The plan was also 181. 

adopted in Portsmouth, Providence, 4 Chatham Corresp. iii. 139, note. 
New York, Philadelphia, and in some 5 Chesterfield's Letter of Dec. 27, 

towns in other colonies. in Chatham Corresp. iii. 302, note ; 

2 Hutchinson to Pownall, Nov. 10, Mass. Gazette Extra for February 25, 
1767 ; Bernard to Shelburne, Oct. 30, 1769 ; Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 
1767 ; Boston Gazette for Nov. 2, 185 ; Grahame, ii. 432 ; Bancroft, vi. 
1767 ; Hutchinson, iii. 182; Hist, of 109, 110. 

the War, 39. 6 Mauduit to Hutchinson, Dec. 15, 

1 Boston Evening Post for Nov. 23 1767 ; Bancroft, vi. 110. 
and 30, 1767 ; Bernard to Shelburne, 


chap, pie of Boston, to suspend importations from England and to 

•XT' T 

^^^ encourage domestic manufactures, served to quicken their 
1768. anger ; and, early in the new year, the intention was avowed 

Jan. «... 

* of initiating measures to abrogate the charters, and introduce 
uniformity into the government of the colonies. 1 Of the ap- 
proval of Hillsborough to this scheme his associates were 
assured. His professions of regard for the liberties of America 
were known to be a pretence ; for if any purpose was cher- 
ished by him more fondly than all others, it was the purpose 
of abridging colonial privileges. Conceited and shallow in 
the opinions he held, headstrong and obstinate in defending 
and enforcing them, the union of stiffness with affected suavity 
gave to his manners an awkwardness and constraint which are 
often the accompaniments of craft and duplicity. He had not 
the boldness which courage confers ; and, if his apologists 
esteemed him " honest and well meaning," it was because he 
had concealed from them the weak points of his character. 2 

Almost his first act respecting Massachusetts was the grant 
of a pension of two hundred pounds to Thomas Hutchinson, 
to be paid annually by the commissioners of customs. 3 The 
news that such a grant had been made could not be kept se- 
cret ; and the people of Boston expressed their abhorrence in 
no gentle terms. " If such acts are continued," said they, " we 
shall be obliged to maintain in luxury sycophants, court para- 
sites, and hungry dependants, who will be sent over to watch 
and oppress those who oppose them. The governors will be 
men rewarded for despicable services, hackneyed in deceit and 
avarice, or some noble scoundrel who has spent his fortune in 
every kind of debauchery." 4 At this juncture Samuel Adams 

1 Bancroft, vi. 111. 18, 1768; Oliver to , May 11, 

2 Franklin's Works, vii. 507; Ban- 1768; Bancroft, vi. 116. 

croft, vi. 116. "His lordship," writes 4 A. Eliot to T. Hollis, Dec. 10, 

De Berdt, Aug. 29, 1768, " says laws 1767 ; A. Eliot to Bkckburne, Dec. 

must be supported, or we sink into a 15, 1767 ; Bancroft, vi. 117. Even 

state of anarchy, which he thinks must Huske, who was hanged in effigy in 

be avoided at all events." 1765, in 1758 said, " As to the civil 

3 Hutchinson to Hillsborough, Apr. officers appointed for America, most 


drew up a voluminous letter, in the form of a remonstrance chap 
against the revenue act, to be sent by the province to their ^J^^ 
agent in England. This letter was read in the House of 1768. 
Representatives, which had opened its session in the previous 
month, and was debated for several days. " Seven times it Dec. 30. 
was revised ; every word was weighed, every sentence consid- 
ered ; each seemingly harsh sentence was tempered and re- 
fined ; " and, after it had passed this searching ordeal, it was 
adopted to be sent to the agent, communicated to the ministry, 
and published to the world as expressing the unchangeable 
opinion of Massachusetts. 1 

The House having sanctioned this document, letters were 
sent to each of the ministers embodying the same sentiments, j an . 15 
and urging the impracticability of a suitable representation of 
the colonies in Parliament. 2 No memorial was sent to the 
Lords or the Commons ; but an address to the king was pre- Jan. 20. 
pared, and he was appealed to as umpire in the dispute. 3 A 
proposition that these proceedings should be laid before the 
other colonies, that, " if they thought fit, they might join them/' 
was at first negatived ; but on maturer consideration it was Feb. 4. 
adopted, and a masterly circular, draughted by Adams, was Feb. 11, 
read and accepted. 4 

of the places in the gift of the crown -191 ; Bradford's State Papers, 137- 

have been filled with broken members 144 ; Jour. H. of R. for 1768, 128, 

of Parliament, of bad, if any princi- 144, 164, 204, also the Appendix, in 

pies, valets de chambre, electioneering which all the papers are given in 

scoundrels, and even livery servants, full. 

In one word, America has been for 3 Prior Doc'ts, 175-177 ; Brad- 
many years the hospital of England." ford's State Papers, 121-123 ; Jour. 
Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 240. H. of R. for 1768, 121, 122, 124; 

1 Prior Doc'ts, 167-175 ; Bernard Mass. Gazette for March 24, 1768. 
to Shelbume, Jan. 21, 1768, in Let- 4 Mass. Gazette for Mar. 10, 1768 ; 
ters, &c. 4 ; T. Cushing to De Berdt, T. Cushing to De Berdt, and Ber- 
Jan. 31, 1768; Bradford, i. 124, 134, nard to Shelburne, Jan. 30, 1768, in 
and State Papers, 124-133 ; Boston MS. Letters and Papers, 1761-1776, 
Gazette for April 4, 1768 ; Jour. H. in Lib. Mass. Hist. Soc. ; Trumbull 
of R. for 1768, 99, 102, 104, 107, MSS. ii. 163; Jour. H. of R. for 1767 
109 ; Bancroft, vi. 119, 120. -8, 148, 164 ; Bernard to Shelburne, 

2 Boston Gazette for March 21, Jan. 30 and Feb. 18, 1768; Prior 
1768; Mass. Gazette for March 31 Doc'ts, 191-199; Bradford, i. 134, 
and April 7, 1768 ; Prior Doc'ts, 177 138, 153, and State Papers, 112, 134 


Nearly at the same time, the revenue board, in secret con- 
clave, prepared a memorial to be sent to England. Professing 
apprehensions that their own lives were in danger, and com- 
plaining of the licentiousness of the press, of the league to 
discountenance the consumption of British manufactures, and 
of the New England town meetings, in which " the lowest 
mechanics discussed the most important points of government 
with the utmost freedom/' they declared that they had " every 
reason to expect " it would be found " impracticable to enforce 
the execution of the revenue laws, until the hand of govern- 
ment should be properly strengthened." " At present," they 
added, " there is not one ship of war in the province, nor a 
company of soldiers nearer than New York." x 

This paper, like most of those sent from America by the 
minions of power, was artfully framed, and admirably adapted 
to inflame the passions of those to whom it was addressed. 
The current of feeling in England was beginning to turn. 
For more than a year no pains had been spared to irritate the 
people, especially the freeholders, and to persuade them that 
they were to pay " infinite taxes," and the Americans none ; 
that they were to be burdened, and the Americans eased ; in 
a word, that the interests of Britain were to be sacrificed to 
those of America. 2 By such misrepresentations, many were 
prepared to look with favor upon the arbitrary measures which 
were urged upon Parliament, and the friends of those measures 
were encouraged to persist in their course. Hence distorted 

-136. Bernard wrote to Shelburne, Feb. 12, and Letter of May 3, 1768 ; 

Feb. 18, 1768, that these proceedings Bradford, i. 106 ; Bancroft, vi. 128. 

expressed the opinions of but a few, The proclamation of Bernard, requir- 

and that, after much .opposition, they ing all civil officers to^ assist the offi- 

were pushed through by the intrigues cers of the customs in the discharge 

and threats of some violent members, of their duties, is given in the Mass. 

Yet he acknowledges that the House Gazette for March 14, 1768. 
" acted in all things, even in their re- 2 Letter of W. S. Johnson, dated 

monstance," so tar as he could learn, London, March 14, 1767, in Trumbull 

" with temper and moderation." MSS. ii. 144 ; Johnson's Diary, March 

1 Mem. of the Commissioners of 30, 1767, in Bancroft, vi. 64. 


accounts were given of every occurrence in the colonies, and chap. 
innocent acts were construed as treasonable. Did the legis- ^^_^_ 
lature of Massachusetts, following the lead of the merchants 1768. 
of Boston, with but one dissenting voice pass resolutions Feb. 26. 
discouraging the use of British, and giving the preference to 
American, manufactures ? * These resolves, though conceded 
by Bernard to be " so decently and cautiously worded that at 
another time they would scarcely have given offence," 2 were 
enough to excite the anger of Grenville and his friends ; and 
the House of Commons ordered a full account of the manufac- Mar. 27. 
tures of the colonies since 1734 to be prepared and forwarded 
to England, with a view to subject such manufactures to addi- 
tional restrictions. 3 

Considering the position he had taken, disputes with the gov- 
ernor were of course to be expected ; and he was constantly fur- 
nishing grounds for fresh accusations. An article in the Gazette Feb. 28. 
commented severely upon his " obstinate perseverance in the * 
path of malice," and his " diabolical thirst for mischief." 4 This 
he pronounced a " virulent libel," and, after it had been pre- 
sented to the Council and the House, the latter of which passed 
it over as a matter of little moment, the grand jury were called 
upon to indict the author ; but they refused. Hutchinson, by 
his own acknowledgment, told them, " almost in plain words, 
that if they did not find against the paper as containing high 
treason, they might depend on being damned ; " but his menace 
was laughed at, and the " Sous of Liberty " toasted the jurors. 5 

1 Letter of T. Gushing to De Berdt, 199 ; Bradford, i. 141, and State Pa- 
April 18, 1768, in MS. Letters and pers, 118, 119. The closing lines of 
Papers, 1761-1776, in Lib. Mass. this piece were significant : — 

Hist. Soc. ; Jour. H. of R. for 1767- «. lf sucb men are by God a pp 0in ted, 

8, 198 ; Mass. Gazette for March 17, The devil may be the Lords anointed." 

1768 ; Bradford, i. 145. Bochestcr's Satires. 

2 Bernard to Shelburne, March 0, 5 Hutchinson's Letters of March 
1768. 23, 26, and 27, and Oct. 4, 1768, and 

3 Trumbull MSS. ii. 175, in Lib. Hist. iii. 186 ; Bernard to Shelburne, 
Mass. Hist. Soc. March 5 and 12, 1768; Jour. H. of 

4 Otis, in the Boston Gazette for R. for 1768, 206-210; Mass. Gazette 
Feb. 29, 1768, Supp't ; Prior Doc'ts, Extra for March 4, and Gazette for 


chap. On the last day of the session, the legislature came in for a 

> J^^ share of the reproofs of his excellency, and of some of the 

1768. members he spoke in terms of the bitterest contempt. " These 

Mar. 4. 

are the men," said he, " to whose importance everlasting con- 
tention is necessary. . . . Time and experience will soon 
pull the mask off these false patriots, who are sacrificing their 
country to the gratification of their own passions." 1 

Nor did he stop here. Satisfied that he had nothing to 
expect from either branch of the court, he once more busied 
himself in denouncing the charter, and invoked the aid of 
troops to assist in the work of oppression. To give point to 
his appeal, a scheme was devised which, it was thought, if prop- 
erly managed, could scarcely fail of success. The anniversary 
Mar. 18. of the repeal of the stamp act, it was supposed, would be ob- 
served in Boston with some parade ; and the governor con- 
certed that reports should be circulated of a designed insur- 
rection on that day, and of danger to his own person and to 
the Board of Customs. Aware of his intentions, the " Sons 
of Liberty " labored to preserve order ; and when, on the 
morning of that day, the effigies of Paxton and of Williams 
were found suspended from Liberty Tree, they were immediate- 
ly taken down. 2 The observances of the day were conducted 
with decorum. At an early hour, drums were beaten, guns were 
fired, and the " whole town was adorned with ships' colors ; " 
at the public dinner, in Faneuil Hall, toasts were drunk to 
the freedom of the press and to the memory of several of 

March 7, 1768; Prior Doc'ts, 199- strong suspicion in the minds of many 

202. " The time is not yet come," that these effigies were hung up by 

wrote Bernard to Shelburne, " when some particular persons on that day, 

the House is to be moved against pop- with a design to give a coloring to just 

ular printers, however profligate and such representations as Governor Ber- 

flagitious." nard now makes. There are persons 

1 Jour. H. of It. for 1768, 214; here capable of playing such a game; 
Mass. Gazette Extra for March 4, and there are some circumstances 
1768; Hutchinson, iii. 186 ; Bradford, which make it appear that such a sus- 
Hist. i. 143, and State Papers, 120, picion was not groundless." Vindica- 
121. tion of the Town of Boston, 6. 

2 " There was, in the time of it, a 



the martyrs of liberty ; * but, though public and private dwell- chap 
ings were generally illuminated, no bonfire was lighted in the ^J^ 
evening ; and the " mob," if there was one, by the acknowledg- 1768. 
ment of Hutchinson was only such as had been usual " on the 
fifth of November and other holidays." 2 Bernard, however, 
was not to be baffled ; and, since, the people would give no 
cause of oifence, he was determined to make one. Hence, in 
his despatches to England, he magnified these occurrences into 
a terrible riot. " Many hundreds," he affirms, " paraded the 
streets with yells and outcries which were quite terrible ; " and 
when the " mob " passed his house, there was " so terrible a yell 
that it was apprehended they were breaking in." " I can afford 
no protection," he continues, " to the commissioners. I have 
not the shadow of authority or power. I am sure to be made 
obnoxious to the madness of the people by the testimony I am 
obliged to bear against it, and yet left exposed to their resent- 
ment without any possible resort of protection." 3 The com- 
missioners of the customs seconded these charges, and, to insure 
the arrival of an armed force, earnestly appealed to Commo- 
dore Hood, the naval commander at Halifax, for aid, and me- 
morialized the treasury for troops to be sent over. 4 

Before these charges reached England, the Twelfth Parlia- 

1 Boston Gazette for March 21, mere procession of a post chariot or 
1768 ; Mass. Gazette for March 24, two and some single horse 

1768 ; Bancroft, vi. 134. with a mob of boys and idle people at 

2 Hutchinson to Jackson, March their heels, by way of ovation or tri- 

23, 1768 ; Hist. hi. 188. Comp. Ber- umph over the stamp act. There was 

nard to Shelburne, March 19, 1768, a procession of the very same nature 

and see Mass. Gazette for March 24 in London upon the anniversary of the 

— the organ of the government, failure of the excise bill ; and yet the 

Gage to Hillsborough, Oct. 31, 1768, civil magistrates of the city of London 

asserts that, " according to the best in- never had any such severe charge 

formation he had been able to pro- brought against them for not putting 

cure, the disturbance in March, so far a stop thereto." 
from being ' terrible,' as the governor 3 Bernard to Shelburne, March 19 

represents it, was in truth trifling." and 21, 1768. Comp. Pownall's Speech 

Vindication of the Town of Boston, 9. of Feb. 1769, p. 4. 
Pownall, also, in his Speech in the 4 Hood, in Grenville Corresp. iv. 

House of Commons, in Feb. 1769, p. 306 ; Mem. of Commissioners, March 

4, says the " disturbance " on the 18th 28, 1768 ; Bancroft, vi. 136. 
of March " was nothing more than a 


chap, merit was dissolved. In the election which ensued, the system 
^i^ of bribery, which had long been practised, was carried to an 
1768. extent never before known. The blood of Africa and the tears 
of Hindostan, by a new species of alchemy, were transmuted 
into English gold ; and seats in Parliament became an article 
of brokerage and merchandise. " There is no such thing as 
a borough to be had now," wrote Chesterfield to his son. 1 
" The rich East and West Indians have secured them all at the 
rate of three thousand pounds at least, but many at four thou- 
sand, and two or three at five thousand." " George Selwyn 
sold his borough of Ludgershall to two members for nine thou- 
sand pounds." In the borough of Northampton, a contested 
election and the petition which followed are said to have cost 
the Earl of Spencer no less than seventy thousand pounds. 2 
To a Parliament thus rotten were the liberties of England and 
America intrusted. Obviously, it would have been absurd to 
have expected from such a body measures of patriotism, of pru- 
dence, or of peace. 3 Men who jest at their own corruption 
will not, as a general thing, hesitate to sanction the vilest 
measures. Is it surprising that the colonies, which had relied 
upon the integrity of Parliament, should have henceforth re- 
■ garded it as their deadliest foe ? " We must be free," was the 
word which began to circulate. " Laws are not valid unless 
• sanctioned by our consent." " We will oppose any minister 
who shall innovate an iota in our privileges." Dickinson. 

1 Dec 19 1767 and April 12, Stern Independence from his glebe retires, 

1768, in Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. Aud fi J™ Freedom eyes her 6l00 ^ 

190, 191. By foreign wealth are British morals 

• Lord Orford's Mems. in. 198, i j5SSL.* a Mmmm~*» 

note; Franklins VVorks, vn. 394; Epist. to Wilberforce. 

Belsham's George HI. i 232 ; Lord 3 « It is at p re sent," wrote De 

Mahons Hist , .Eng. v .191. > Comp. Berdt> May 11, 1768, « a time of great 

Bancroft, vi. 147. Well might the confe ' ion \ he heats and animosity of 

poet indignantly exclaim, - ^^^ new members of Payment 

"Corruption ranges with gigantic stride, ■» not >' et ^bsided; universal dis- 

And scarce vouchsafes his shameless front Content spreads ltsell through the 

to hide; kingdom." Bradford, State Papers, 

The spreading leprosy taints every part. 1 . ° A 

Infects each limb, and sickens at the heart. 14z. 


of Pennsylvania, the author of the " Farmer's Letters," and a chap 
man of singular calmness and moderation, approved this course. ^^ 
" Almighty God himself " — such were his words — " will look 1768. 
down upon your righteous contest with approbation. You will 
be a band of brothers, strengthened with inconceivable supplies 
of force and constancy by the sympathetic ardor which animates 
good men confederated in a good cause. You are assigned by 
Divine Providence, in the appointed order ol things, the pro- 
tectors of unborn ages, whose fate depends upon your virtue." l 
The people of Boston responded to this appeal ; and, in a 
meeting convened for the purpose, thanks were voted, and a Mar.24r 
committee was appointed, consisting of Samuel Adams, John 
Hancock, and Joseph Warren, to greet the author in the name 
of the town, as " the friend of Americans and the common ben- 
efactor of mankind." 2 

The circular of Massachusetts, sent out in February, reached 
England in April ; and it was at once denounced as of a " most Apr 15. 
dangerous and factious tendency, calculated to inflame the 
minds of his majesty's good subjects in the colonies, to promote 
an unwarrantable combination, to excite and encourage an 
open opposition to and defiance of the authority of Parliament, 
and to subvert the true principles of the constitution." 3 Let- 
ters were written to all the governors to prevail with the 
assemblies to take no notice of this circular ; 4 and the General 
Court of Massachusetts were required to rescind their resolu- • 
tions, and to " declare their disapprobation of the rash and 
hasty proceeding." Should they refuse to comply, the governor 
was " immediately to dissolve them. Upon their next choice. 

1 Farmer's Letters, 12; Franklin's Connecticut, April 29, 1768, in Train- 
Works, i. 282; Bancroft, vi. 139. bull MSS. ii. 170; Hillsborough to 

2 Bernard to Hillsborough, March , in MS. Letters and Papers, 

28, 1768; Boston Gazette for March 1761-1776, in Lib. Mass. Hist. Soc. ; 

28, 1768 ; Mass. Gazette for March Letter to the Earl of Hillsborough, 

24, 1768. The Boston Gazette for pub. in 1769, p. 31 ; Grahame, ii. 

April 25, Mass. Gazette for April 28, 433. 

contain the reply of Mr. Dickinson. 4 Trumbull MSS. ii. 170 ; Bancroft, 

3 Hillsborough to the Governor of vi. 144. 


chap, he was again to insist on it ; and if then refused, he was to do 

^J^ the like, and as often as the case should happen." 1 As. an 

1768. additional argument to induce obedience, General Gage, the 

commander-in-chief of his majesty's forces in America, was 

ordered to maintain the public tranquillity. 2 

For some time Mr. Bernard had corresponded with Hills- 
borough, the secretary of state, and had acted as informer 
against the province, under the pledge that no exposure should 
be made of his letters. 3 " It requires your lordship's distin- 
guished abilities," he wrote, " to accomplish the most arduous 
task of reducing the colonies into good order ; " and he ex- 
pressed the hope that he would prove successful. This compli- 
ment to his talents was sufficient to insure a favorable reception 
to the proposals of the governor, and the reply of the secretary 
was as nattering as heart could wish. Hutchinson, anxious to 
secure his share of applause, chimed in with the statements of 
Bernard, and rang the refrain in a similar strain. " It only 
needs," said he, " one steady plan, pursued a little while, and 
success is sure." 4 Such suggestions were by no means dis- 
pleasing to the secretary ; and, as the letters from the revenue 
June 8. officers bore the same burden, Gage was ordered to send a 
■ regiment to Boston, to be permanently quartered there for the 
assistance of the civil officers and the officers of the customs. 
The admiralty was also directed to send one frigate, two 
sloops, and two cutters to be stationed in Boston harbor ; and, 
for the accommodation of the troops, the Castle was to be 
repaired and occupied. 5 

1 Shelbume to Bernard, April 22, chusetts Bay, enforce a due obedience 
1768 ; De Berdt to the Speaker of to the laws, and protect and support 
the House of Rep. July 29, 1768, in the civil magistrates and the officers 
Bradford's State Papers, 161; Gra- of the crown in the execution of their 
hame, ii. 435 ; Bradford, Hist. i. 148 ,• duty." 

Bancroft, vi. 144. 3 Bernard to Hillsborough, May 12, 

2 Hillsborough to Gage, April 23, 1768. 

1768. "It is become necessary that 4 Hutchinson to Jackson, June 14, 

such measures should be taken as will 1768. 

strengthen the hands of the govern- 5 Hillsborough to Gage, June 8, to 

ment in the Pro wee of the Massa- the Lords of the Admiralty, June 11, 


The annual election occurred before these orders were is- chap. 
sued ; and the General Court, when convened, though they ^^ 
listened to a sermon from Shute, of Hingham, in which the 1768. 
absolute authority of Parliament was denied, and resistance to May 5 25. 
inequitable laws was justified, evinced no disposition to stir 
afresh the waters of strife, but patiently awaited the result of 
their appeal to the king, and continued to confide in his ma- 
jesty's good will. 1 Parties, indeed, were so nearly equal, and 
the disposition to overlook former miscarriages so far prevailed, 
that even Hutchinson, whose friends brought him forward, for 
the last time, as a candidate, lacked but three votes of an elec- 
tion to the Council ; but the pension he had accepted caused 
his defeat. 2 Stung by this rejection, his arbitrariness increased ; 
and the commissioners of the customs — Paxton, in particular, 
who was his intimate friend — assumed the haughtiest airs, and 
cared not what umbrage was taken at their course. 

A ship of war, the Romney, had for a month past lain at 
anchor off in the channel ; and her commander, Captain Cor- 
ner, under the pretence that he was in want of men, had ven- 
tured to impress a number of seamen belonging to New Eng- 
land. One of these was rescued ; but when an attempt was Jun. 10. 
made to obtain the release of another, by offering a substitute, 
the captain exclaimed, in a violent rage, " No man shall go out 
of this vessel. The town is a blackguard town — ruled by 
mobs. They have begun with me by rescuing a man whom I 
pressed this morning ; and, by the eternal God, I will make 
their hearts ache before I leave it." 3 

and to Bernard, June 1 1 ; Narr. of 1768 ; Mass. Gazette for May 26, 

Facts; Bancroft, vi. 153. "As this 1768; Bancroft, vi. 151. 

appears to be a service of a delicate 2 Affidavit of N. "Waterman. Comp. 

nature," says Hillsborough, " and pos- Hutchinson to Jackson, June 18, 1768, 

sibly leading to consequences not and Oliver to , May 11, 1767. 

easily foreseen, I am directed by the Letters from the Earl of Hillsborough 

lung to recommend to you to make and the Board of Trade were laid be- 

ohoice of an officer for the command fore the House, May 31, " concerning 

of these troops upon whose prudence, the constitution of an agent for this 

resolution, and integrity you can en- province." Jour. H. of R. for 1768,20. 

th-ely rely." 3 Affidavit of N. Waterman, an- 

1 Hutchinson to , July 21, nexed to the Mem. presented by De 


chap. About sunset of the same day, another step, of a more violent 
^j^* nature, fanned the sparks of excitement into a flame. A sloop, 
1768. the Liberty, belonging to John Hancock, one of the wealthiest 
' and warmest of the Boston patriots, which had just discharged 
a cargo of wines and taken in a freight of oil and tar for a 
new voyage, was seized for an alleged false entry, and, after 
receiving the broad arrow, preparations were made to remove 
her from the wharf, to be moored under the shelter of the 
guns of the Romney. The revenue officers, fearing a rescue, 
signalled to the Romney ; and a boat, filled with armed men, 
was sent to their aid. Malcom, a trader at the north part of 
the town, advised the officers to let the vessel lie at the wharf : 
but Hallowell, the comptroller, gruffly replied, " I shall not/' 
and orders were given to cut the fasts. " Stop, at least, till 
the owner comes," was shouted from the crowd ; 1 but the 
comptroller, with an oath, bade the men " cast her off ; " and 
the master of the Romney cried, " I'll split the brains of any 
man that offers to reeve a fast, or stop the vessel." Then, turn- 
ing to the marines, he commanded them to fire. " What ras- 
cal is that," cried one, " who dares to tell the marines to fire ? " 
Harrison, the collector, witnessed these proceedings, but re- 
fused to interfere. " The owner is sent for," it was said ; " you 
had better let the vessel lie at the wharf till he comes." But 
Hallowell repeated his orders, and added, " Show me the man 
who dares oppose." Exasperated at this conduct, Malcom 
shouted, " We will throw the people from the Romney over- 
board ; " but Corner, with an oath, swore the vessel should go, 
and again called to the marines, " Why don't you fire ? Fire, 
I say ! " The crowd, on this, fell back, and the sloop was 
towed away.* 

Berdt ; Hutchinson to Jackson, June mob, nor was it of long continuance, 

18, 1768 ; Jour. H. of R. for 1768, neither was there much mischief 

25, 30 ; Bancroft, vi. 155. done." 

1 The commissioners represented 2 Affidavits of Joseph Piper, Wil- 

this as a " numerous mob ; " but the Ham Ross, Caleb Hopkins, &c, an- 

Vindication of the Town of Boston, nexed to the memorial of De Berdt 

p. 10, says, "It was not a numerous of July 21 ; Deposition of Hallowell, 


As the officers of the customs retired, the crowd followed chap 
at their heels, pelting them with stones and bricks and dirt ; XL 
but, save a few flesh wounds, no serious injury was done. 1 On 1768. 
reaching their houses, the mob broke in the windows, and 
frightened their families ; and, soon after, seizing a pleasure 
boat belonging to the custom house, it was dragged in triumph 
from the water side to the Common, and burned. Hancock, 
"Warren, and Samuel Adams had already met to deliberate as 
to what should be done ; but, an hour before midnight, the 
word was given, " Each man to his tent." The crowd dis- 
persed, and all was quiet. 2 

Saturday and Sunday passed without disturbance. The gov- 
ernor convened the Council, to advise with them ; and, after 
some altercation, a committee was appointed to ascertain the 
facts attending the seizure. This, however, did not satisfy the 
officers, who trembled for their own safety ; and four of the 
five went with their families on board the Romney. 3 On 
Monday, a placard called upon the " Sons of Liberty" to meet Jun.ia. 
the next day at "Liberty Hall," a name given to the space 
around Liberty Tree. 4 A vast crowd responded to this call ; 5 Jun. 14* 
a chairman was chosen ; and the selectmen were requested to 
call a legal meeting that afternoon at three o'clock. At that 
hour the meeting was held ; but, finding the concourse so 

in Meras. of the Commissioners, June June 16, 1768 ; Hutchinson, Hist. 

16, 1768; Hutchinson to , June iii. 191; Grenville Corresp. iv. 322; 

18, 1768, and Hist. iii. 190 ; Boston Bradford, i. 155. "It has been usual 

News Letter for June 16, 1768. for the commissioners to affect an ap- 

1 The officers, indeed, alleged more prehension of danger to themselves 
serious injuries ; but their account of and their families, to serve the pur- 
the affair is in most respects exagger- poses they had in view." Vindic. of 
ated. See Bernard to Hillsborough, the Town of Boston, 5 ; comp. ibid. 14. 
June 11 and 13, 1768, and Mem. of 4 Bernard to Hillsborough, June 
the Commissioners, June 16, 1768; 16,1768. " This tree," says the gov- 
and comp. Mem. of Mass. in Prior ernor, " has often put me in mind of 
Doc'ts, 222. Jack Cade's Oak of Reformation." 

2 Bernard to Hillsborough, June 5 See the Commissioners' Report. 

11,1768; Hutchinson to , June Bernard, to Hillsborough, June 16, 

18 and Aug. 1768, and Hist. iii. 191 ; 1768, says, " at least 4000 men, many 

Bancroft, v'u 157. having come out of the country for 

3 Mems. of the Commissioners, that purpose." 
VOL. II. 23 


chap, great that Faneuil Hall would not hold all, they adjourned 
^^ to the meeting house of the Old South Church, of which Dr. 
1768. Sewall was the pastor. James Otis was chosen moderator ; 
and upon his appearance he was " ushered into the hall by an 
almost universal clap of hands." An address to the governor 
was unanimously voted ; and a committee of twenty-one, of 
which Tyler was at the head, was appointed to present it. 
Jun. 15. The meeting was then adjourned to the following day, at four 
o'clock in the afternoon ; and, on reassembling, Otis delivered 
a speech, recommending in the strongest terms the preserva- 
tion of order, and expressing the hope that the grievances they 
had suffered would be speedily redressed. " If not," he added, 
* " and we are called on to defend our liberties and privileges, 
I hope and believe we shall, one and all, resist even unto 
blood. But I pray God Almighty that this may never so 
happen." x 

The committee appointed for that purpose 2 waited upon the 
governor at his residence in Roxbury, — proceeding thither in 
a procession of eleven chaises, — and presented the address. 
■ The language of this address was pointed and clear. " To 
contend with our parent state " — such were its words — " is, 
in our idea, the most shocking and dreadful extremity ; but 
tamely to relinquish the only security we and our posterity 
retain of the enjoyment of our lives and properties, without 
one struggle, is so humiliating and base that we cannot support 
the reflection. It is at your option, we apprehend, in your 
power, and we would hope in your inclination, to prevent this 
distressed and justly-incensed people from effecting too much, 
and from the shame and reproach of attempting too little. 
. . We flatter ourselves, therefore, that your excellency will, 
in tenderness to the people, use the best means in your power 

1 Bernard to Hillsborough, June ibid. ; Boston News Letter for June 

11, 16, and 18, 1768 ; the Commis- 16 and 23, 1768. 

sioners to Commodore Hood, June 15, 2 " Which was in general very re- 

1768, in Mems. ; also, Letter to the spectable," says Bernard. 
Commissioners, June 14, 1768, in 


to remove the other grievances we so justly complain of, and chap. 
issue your immediate order to the commander of his majesty's ^^ 
ship Romney to remove from this harbor, till we shall be ascer- 1768. 
tained of the success of our application." * 

The governor received this address with marked obsequious- 
ness ; 2 but on the following day, in his reply, he refused to 
order the removal of the Romney, which, he said, was not 
subject to his direction, and cleared himself of the responsibil- 
ity of the affray which had occurred. In conclusion he re- 
marked, " I shall think myself most highly honored if I can be, 
in the lowest degree, an instrument in procuring a perfect rec- 
onciliation between you and the parent state." 3 The dignity 
of his excellency, however, was seriously shocked at the humil- 
iating position in which he was placed, and the wound which 
his pride had received rankled too deeply to be easily healed. 
Hence no sooner had he delivered this message than he joined 
with the officers in magnifying the " riot " into an " insurrec- 
tion," and in soliciting an armed force to be sent to their relief. 
The comptroller and the collector, as well as his excellency, 
reported a " general spirit of insurrection, not only in the town, 
but throughout the province ; " and the commissioners, in a 
body, applied to Commodore Hood, who was at Halifax, and 
to Gage, who was at New York, for further protection. 4 
Their despatches to England were of the same tenor ; and, 
after remarking that the "long-concerted and extensive plan 
of resistance to the authority of Great Britain " had broken 
out in " actual violence sooner than was intended," they urged 
that " nothing but the immediate exertion of military power 

1 Boston News Letter for June 23, be in writing. I then had wine hand- 
1768 ; Bradford, State Papers, and ed round ; and they left me, highly 
Hist. i. ; Prior Doc'ts, 263 ; Frank- pleased with their reception, especially 
lin's Works. that part of them which had not been 

2 "I received them," says his ex- used to an interview with me." 
cellency, " with all possible civility, 3 Reply of Bernard, in Mass. Ga- 
and, having heard their petition, I zette, &c. 

talked very freely with them upon the 4 Gage and Hood to the Commis- 
subject, but postponed giving a formal sioners, in Mems., July 11, 1768. 
answer till the next dav, as it should 


chap, could prevent an open revolt of the town of Boston, and prob- 

^^ ably of the provinces." x 
1768. The General Conrt was in session at this time, but did not 
interpose, leaving the people to settle the affair in their own 
way. But the inhabitants of Boston, though they deprecated 

Jun. 17. violence, did not hesitate to speak their minds freely, and drew 
up a series of instructions to their representatives, in which, 

* after affirming their " fixed resolution to maintain their loyalty 
and duty to their most gracious sovereign, a reverent and. due 
subordination to the British Parliament as the supreme legisla- 
ture in all cases of necessity for the preservation of the whole 
empire, and to use their utmost endeavors for the preservation 
of peace and order among themselves, — waiting with anxious 
expectation for a favorable answer to the petitions and solici- 
tations of the continent for relief, — they declared that it was 

* their " unalterable resolution to assert and vindicate their dear 
and invaluable rights and liberties at the utmost hazard of 
their lives and. fortunes," and expressed the "full and rational 
confidence that no design formed against them would ever 
prosper." In conclusion, they instructed them to " forward, if 
they thought expedient, in the House of Representatives, reso- 
lutions that every person soliciting or promoting the importa- 
tion of troops should be pronounced an enemy to the town 
and province, and. a disturber of the peace and good order of 
both." 2 

In the midst of this excitement, the instructions which had 
been sent over by the secretary of state, that Massachusetts 
should rescind her resolutions against importing goods from 
England, came to hand ; and the governor, after consulting 

1 Mems. of the Commissioners, 2 Bernard to Hillsborough, June 
June 16, 1768. "Unless we have 16 and 18, 1768 ; Boston News Let- 
immediately two or three regiments, ter for June 23, 1768 ; Hutchinson, iii. 
'tis the opinion of all the Mends to App. K. " They broke up quietly," 
government that Boston will be in says the governor, " and there is an 
open rebellion." Letter of Paxton, end of the meeting." 

Jane 20, 1768. 


with Hutchinson and Oliver, sent to the House a message, chap. 
accompanied with extracts from the letter of Hillsborough. 1 w ^ w 
This message was read once, and was ordered to a second 1768. 
reading in the afternoon, when floor and gallery were filled 
with auditors ; and Otis, whose clarion voice rang through the 
hall, in a masterly speech of two hours' length, filled with vol- 
canic bursts of passion, set forth his objections to a compliance 
with the requisition. 2 

It was well known that the governor had diligently corre- 
sponded with the secretary, and had misrepresented the views 
and the conduct of the people ; and, as he had communicated 
to the House but part of the letter just received, and none of 
his own letters, they desired him to lay before them, not only Jun. 23, 
the whole of the letter of Hillsborough and the king's instruc- 
tions, but that " he would be pleased to add copies of his own 
letters relating to the subject of the aforesaid message." With 
this request he was unwilling to comply. He was ready to Jun. 24 
submit the letter of Hillsborough ; but his own letters, he as- 
sured them, he " would never make public but upon his own 
motion and for his own reasons." But this refusal availed him 
nothing. Copies of the letters had been obtained, and the 
House knew their contents. 3 They were not, therefore, acting 
in the dark. They were well informed of his excellency's 
proceedings, and were determined to call him to an account. 
Hence their course was decided. The ministry, they were sen- 
sible, was bent on humbling them ; the eyes of all were fastened 

1 Bernard to Hillsborough, June the most violent and virulent nature." 
25, 1768 ; Boston Gazette for July 4 " He abused all persons in authority," 
and 18, 1768 ; Mass. Gazette for June he adds, " both here and at home, He 
23 and July 7, 1768 ; Bradford, State indeed excepted the king's person, but 
Papers, 145-150 ; Prior Doc'ts, 203 ; traduced his government with all the 
Jour. H. of R. for 1768, 68, 72, 75. bitterness of words." 

A similar controversy occurred earlier 3 They were published in pamphlet 

in this year, when a portion of the let- form by " Edes and Gill, in Queen 

ter of Shelburne was communicated Street," in 1769. Resolve of H. of 

to the House. Bradford, State Papers, R. in Jour, for June, 1769, and Brad- 

113-118. ford, State Papers, 160. Comp. Hutch- 

2 Bernard, to Hillsborough, June inson, iii. 184, 195. 
25, characterizes this speech as " of 


CHAP, upon them ; and in the hour of peril should they shrink from 

^^^ the encounter ? From Virginia, from New Jersey, from Con- 
1768. necticut, and from Georgia letters had been received approving 
their proceedings,, and tendering sympathy. 1 Should they dis- 
appoint the expectations which had every where been formed ? 
Then would they deserve to be left to their fate. 

For a full week the affair was in suspense. To comply 
with the mandate of the king was to give up all. And should 

Jun. 28. they retrace their steps when they had gone so far ? At length 
the governor demanded a definite answer, and informed them 
that longer delay would be construed as a refusal. The House 

Jun. 29. asked a recess to consult their constituents ; but it was refused. 
Upon this the question was taken viva voce ; and out of one 
hundred and nine votes cast, but seventeen were in the affirm- 
ative. 2 A message was sent to the governor informing him of 

Jun. 30. this decision, and a long letter was draughted to be sent to 
Hillsborough. 3 In accordance with his instructions, the gov- 

Juiy l. ernor prorogued the House, and the next day, by proclamation, 
dissolved the court. 4 Thus Massachusetts was without a legis- 
lature, and the liberties of the people were at the mercy of 
their foes. 
July. In July, Hallowell, the commissioner of the customs, arrived 
in England as the accuser of the province. The letters he 
took with him were numerous, and great was the dismay caused 
by his appearance. At London, at Liverpool, at Bristol, and 
at other ports, the excitement was general. Stocks fell ; mer- 
chants grew anxious ; and those who had debtors in the colo- 
nies fancied themselves ruined. 5 The anger of the ministry 

1 Jour. H. of R. for 1768, App. 6 to vote against the government side 
et seq. ; Boston Gazette for June 27, of a question — so greatly have infatu- 
1768 ; Prior Doc'ts, 2 13-220 j Hutch- ation and intimidation gained ground." 
inson, iii. 196; Bancroft, vi. 164. 3 This letter is given in full in Brad- 

2 Bernard to Hillsborough, July 1, ford, State Papers, 151-158; Jour. 
1768 ; Hutchinson, iii. 197 ; Jour. H. H. of R. for 1768, App. ; Prior Doc'ts, 
of R. for 1768, 85, 86, 88, 89-94. 206-210. 

" Among the majority," says Bernard, 4 Bernard to Hillsborough, June 

" were many members who were scarce 17 and July 1, 1768. 

ever known upon any other occasion 3 Hutchinson's Letter of Oct. 4, 


knew no bounds. To be thus bearded and set at defiance by chap 
a "parcel of renegades," a "factious mob," a "rascally rabble," * t J^ w ■ 
was " a thing not to be endured ; " and the violent denounced 1768. 
"vengeance against the insolent town of Boston." l " If the 
government," they urged, " now gives way, as it did about the 
stamp act, it will be all over with its authority in America." 2 
They had forgotten the memorable predictions of Pownall : 
" Believe me, there is not a province, a colony, or a plantation 
that will submit to a tax thus imposed. Don't fancy that you 
can divide the people upon this point. You will by this con- 
duct only unite them the more inseparably. The people of 
America, universally, unitedly, and unalterably, are resolved not 
to submit to any internal tax imposed upon them by any legisla- 
ture in which they have not a share by representatives of their 
own election. This claim must not be understood as though 
it were only the pretences of party leaders and demagogues ; 
as though it were only the visions of speculative enthusiasts ; 
as though it were the ebullition of a faction which must sub- 
side ; as though it were only temporary or partial. It is the 
cool, deliberate, principled maxim of every man of business in 
the country." 3 Such words, spoken by one who knew the 
people, should have received more attention. But the states- 
men of England were too obstinately bent on humbling Amer- 
ica to listen to warnings ; and they preferred the risk of losing 
the colonies to yielding the claim of authority over them. 

The examination of the collector took place at the treasury July 2* 
chambers, in the presence of Lord North, Jenkinson, and 
Campbell ; and, though he subsequently saw fit to file certain 
" corrections " to his testimony, 4 there was enough in it as ori- 

1768. " It is not strange that meas- l Johnson to Pitkin, July 23, 1768 j 

ures should be immediately taken to Bancroft, vi. 174. 

reduce the colonies to their former 2 Bancroft, vi. 174. 

state of government and order ; but 3 Speech of May 15, 1767, in Pri- 

that the national funds should be af- or Doc'ts, 162, 163. 

fected by it, is to me a little mysteri- 4 MS. Letters and Papers, 1761- 

ous and surprising.' , 1776, fol. 80, in Lib. Mass. Hist. Soc. 


chap, ginally given to prompt to action. True, he did not affirm 
s _J^_ that the determination to break the revenue laws was unani- 
1768. mous ; for Salem and Marblehead had not resisted them, and 
" the better sort of people would be for government if they 
could be protected -;" but the " Bostoneers" had defied the laws, 
and the infection might spread. Nor did he assert that the 
officers who remained were insulted after the first outbreak ; 
but they were daily expecting to be driven away, for the " ver- 
min " were to be expelled. He insisted, however, — and in 
this he echoed the representations of Bernard, — that " there 
had been a long-concerted and extensive plan of resistance to 
the authority of Great Britain ; n 1 and, a copy of the memorial 
being sent to Hillsborough, 2 the lords of the treasury united 
in declaring that " nothing short of the immediate exertion of 
military power could prevent an open revolt of the town, which 
would probably spread throughout the provinces." 3 The coun- 
Juiy24. ter memorial of the province, presented by De Berdt, charged 
the blame of the riot to the imprudence of the officers, and the 
commander of the Romney ; and this memorial was strength- 
ened by affidavits taken on the spot. But of what avail was 
such a defence, or any defence, to those who had beforehand 
resolved what to do ? Bedford and his followers clamored for 
troops to be sent over to subdue the inhabitants of Boston, 
and for a striking example to be made of the most forward, to 
inspire the other colonies with terror. Weymouth fell in with 
this proposal. But Shelburne, more friendly to America, de- 
clared that it would be absurd to send a single additional 
soldier, or a vessel of war, to reduce the colonies, as they would 
return to their allegiance from affection and from interest, if 

and fol. 83, where the corrections are ters and Papers, 1761-1776, fol. 82 ; 

given; Bradshaw to Pownall, Nov. Bradshaw to Pownall, July 22 and 

22, 1768. Aug. 31, in the pamphlet published 

1 Copy of the Examination of Hal- in Boston. 

loAvell, in the pamphlet printed in 3 Narr. of Facts ; Bradshaw to 

Boston. Pownall, July 22, 1768 ; Bancroft, vi. 

2 Letter of Bradshaw, in MS. Let- 174. 


once the laws of which they complained were modified. But chap. 
moderate counsels were despised ; and the king, who was per- ^^ 
sonally concerned to enforce his authority, became importunate 1768. 
that Shelburne should be dismissed. 1 

A few days later a meeting of the cabinet was held, and a July 27. 
union of parties was sought to be effected on the basis of the 
declaratory act. With Massachusetts, it was thought, it would 
not be difficult to deal, if that was the only refractory province ; 
and Boston was to be proceeded against " with the utmost 
severity. 7 ' Scarcely a voice opposed these measures ; and when 
the proposition was advanced that two additional regiments, 
of five hundred men each, should be sent over, and that a 
chauge should be made in the provincial charter, it was assent- 
ed to without division, and almost without debate. 2 Bernard, 
in the mean time, received from Gage an offer of troops when July 2. 
he should desire them ; but the Council, to whom he communi- 
cated this offer under an injunction of secrecy, did not consider July 23 
the troops necessary. 3 The governor dared not dissent from 
their opinion, and wrote to Hillsborough for positive orders 
not to call " a new assembly until the people should get truer 
notions of their rights and interests." 4 The merchants of Bos- 
ton, whose attempts to prevent importations had been hitherto 
attended with but partial success, rallied once more ; and a Aug. 9 
large number — all but sixteen, it is said — signed an agree- 
ment, absolute in its terms, that they would send for no mer- 
chandise from Great Britain, articles of necessity only excepted, 
for a year from the following January ; and tea, paper, glass, 
painters' colors, <fcc, upon which duties had been imposed, were 

1 Mem. of De Berdt, of July 24, 3 Gage to the Commissioners of the 
1768; Frances to Choiseul, July 29, Customs, June 21, 1768, in Mems. of 
1768 ; Grafton's Autobiog. in Ban- Commissioners for July 11, 1768 ; 
croft, vi. 175. Bernard to Hillsborough, July 30, 

2 Camden to Grafton, Sept. 4, 1768, 1768; Postscript to Boston News 
in Grafton's Autobiog.; Mauduit to Letter for Oct. 13,1768; Boston Ga- 
Hutchinson, in Boston Chronicle ; zette for Oct. 10, 1768. 
Hillsborough to Bernard, July 30, 4 Bernard to Hillsborough, Aug. 6, 
1768. 1768. 


chap, particularly prohibited. 1 Nor was the anniversary of the 
^^^ outbreak against the stamp act forgotten. A vast concourse 
1768. of people assembled at Liberty Tree, and, after rejoicing there, 
' a procession of chariots and fifty or sixty chaises proceeded to 
Roxbury, to an entertainment provided for the occasion. The 
selectmen of Boston and the representatives of the town formed 
part of the company ; and the day passed pleasantly and with- 
out disturbance. 2 
Aug.i9. Five days later the vote of the legislature, refusing to re- 
scind the resolutions against importation, reached England ; 
and Lord Mansfield signalized the warmth of his zeal by pro- 
posing that the refractory members of the House should be 
sent for to answer for their disloyal conduct. " Where rebel- 
lion begins," said he, " the laws cease ; and they can invoke 
none in their favor." " The Americans," he insisted, " must 
first be compelled to submit to the authority of Parliament ; 
and it is only after having reduced them to the most entire 
obedience that an inquiry can be made into their real or pre- 
tended grievances." 3 In every European court the progress 
of the struggle was viewed with interest. It was the theme 
of discussion and gossip in Paris ; at Madrid, the Spanish min- 
istry were concerned lest their own colonies should " catch the 
flame." 4 The discussion in England agitated all classes. Cam- 
Sept. 4. den was alarmed " because the colonies were more sober, and, 
consequently, more determined, in the present opposition than 
they were upon the stamp act." " What, then, is to be done?" 
was the inquiry of Grafton. " Indeed, my lord, I do not 
know," was the reply. " Parliament cannot repeal the reve- 

1 Bernard to Hillsborough, Aug. 9, the toasts drunk were 45 in number. 

1768 ; Hutchinson to , Aug. 10, " The joy of the day was manly, and 

1768 ; Boston News Letter for Aug. an uninterrupted regularity presided 

18, 1768. through the whole." 

2 Bernard to Hillsborough, Aug. 3 Frances to Choiseul, Sept. 16 and 
29, 1768 ; Boston Gazette for Aug. 22, 29, 1768, in Bancroft, vi. 182. 
1768; Hutchinson, iii. 201,202; Ban- 4 Walpole's George HI. iii. 253 j 
croft, vi. 179. The observance this -Bancroft, vi. 182. 

year was on Monday, Aug. 15, and 


nue act, for that would admit the American principle to be chap 
right, and their own doctrine erroneous. The law must be ^J^ 
executed ; but how it shall be executed I cannot say. Boston 1768, 
is the ringleading province ; and if any country is to be chas- 
tised, the punishment should be levelled there." l 

The patriots of Boston had long been admonished of the 
necessity of vigilance, if they would defeat the schemes which 
threatened their ruin ; and Samuel Adams, in whom independ- 
ence was an " original sin," 2 pleaded for it earnestly at all 
times and in all places. " We will never become slaves," said 
he. " We will submit to no tax. We will take up arms, and 
shed our last drop of blood, before the king and the Parlia- 
ment shall impose on us, or settle crown officers, independent 
of the colonial legislature, to dragoon us." 3 Nor was Adams 
the only one in whose breast the fires of liberty were kindling. 
All of the resolute burned to vindicate their rights which had 
been trampled upon ; and early in the ensuing month a paper Sept. & 
appeared in the Boston Gazette, in the form of " queries," de- 
signed to concentrate the action of the people. " If any should 
be sent to reduce us to slavery," — such was the language it 
neld, — " we will put our lives in our hands, and cry to the 
Judge of all the earth, who will do right, saying, ' Behold, how 
they come to cast us out of this province, which thou hast given 
us. Help us, Lord our God ; for we rest on thee, and in 
thy name we go against this multitude." 4 

Two days later the Senegal, one of the vessels stationed in Sept. 7 
the harbor, weighed her anchor, and left the port ; and on the 
following day the Duke of Cumberland sailed for Nova Scotia. Sept. & 
Bernard himself gave out that both these vessels had gone for 

1 Campbell, v. 279 ; Camden to You are assertors of liberty and the 
Grafton, Sept. 4, 1768, in Grafton's principles of the revolution." 
Autobiog. ; Bancroft, vi. 183. 3 Affidavits in the State Paper Of- 

2 T. Hollis to A. Eliot, July 1, fice, London, quoted in Bancroft, vi. 
1768, relative to the American people 193, 194. 

generally. "You are an ungracious 4 Clericus Americanus, in Boston 
people. There is original sin in you. ' Gazette for Sept. 5, 1768. 


chap, troops ; and the intelligence startled the people. 1 Immediately 

^J^^ a petition was signed for a town meeting, to be held on the 
1768. following Monday, " to consider of the most wise, constitu- 
' tional, loyal, and salutary measures " to be taken in this emer- 
gency. Already had an officer arrived in Boston to provide 

Sep. 10. quarters for the troops ; and on Beacon Hill, the highest 
ground in the town, where, from colonial days, it had been 
customary, when the country was to be alarmed, to kindle a 
signal fire, the old iron " skillet," of enormous dimensions, 
which held the barrel of tar, was privately filled, and word 
was given that it should be lighted when the fleet appeared in 
sight. 2 The governor, in a panic, ordered the barrel to be 
removed ; and the selectmen communicated his request to the 

Sep. 12. town meeting, but no action was taken upon it. The Council, 
therefore, advised the governor to direct the sheriff to remove 
the barrel ; and, taking with him a posse of six or seven men, 
he executed his order stealthily, while the people were at 
dinner. 3 

But more serious questions were to be discussed and 
decided than those which related to mere matters of form. 
Preparations for the meeting had been previously made by 
Otis, and Adams, and Warren, who, at the house of the lat- 

Sep. 10. ter, drew up the resolves which were to be presented, and 
settled the order of debate. 4 When, therefore, the crowd gath- 

Sep. 12. ered in Faneuil Hall, every thing was ready ; and the people, 
as they looked with a grim smile upon the burnished muskets, 
four hundred in number, which lay in boxes along the floor, 5 

1 Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. solved to -surprise and take the Castle 
16, 1768. " The faction," he says, on the Monday night following." 

" immediately took the alarm." 5 " In the Massachusetts govern- 

2 Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. ment," wrote Hamilton to Calcraft, in 

16, 1 7 68- ;• Hutchinson to , Oct. 1767, "there is an express law by which 

4, 1768, and Hist. hi. 202, 203. every man is obliged to have a raus- 

3 Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. ket, a pound of powder, and a pound 
16, 1768. of bullets always by him ; • so there is 

4 Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. nothing wanting but knapsacks (or 
> 16, 1768. The governor falsely as- old stockings, which will do as well) 

serts that at this meeting " it was re- to equip an army for marching, and 


entered upon the business for which they had convened, chap 
Prayer was offered by the eloquent Cooper, pastor of the ^J^ 
Brattle Street Church ; Otis was chosen moderator ; and a 1768. 
committee was appointed to wait upon the governor, to inquire 
his reasons for supposing that troops were expected, and to 
request him " immediately to issue precepts for a General As- 
sembly." The meeting then adjourned to the following morn- Sep. la 
ing, when the committee reported that the governor had no 
official announcement to make relative to the troops, and had 
refused to call an assembly. 1 A " Declaration " was then read, 
equalling in spirit the declaration from the same spot eighty 
years before. " The inhabitants of Boston," it was resolved, » 
" will, at the utmost peril of their lives and fortunes, maintain 
and defend their rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities." 
Some counselled instant resistance, and insisted that no time 
was better than the present. But rashness at such a juncture 
might have defeated all. The prudent, therefore, gave differ- 
ent advice, and the people submitted. " There are the arms," 
said Otis, as he pointed to the boxes on the floor. " When an 
attempt is made upon your liberties, they will be delivered." 2 
As the result of the meeting, a convention of all the towns was 
proposed, to be held in Faneuil Hall within two weeks ; and 
Boston chose as its representatives Thomas Cushing, James 

nothing more than a Sartorius or a perhaps upon the heads of the work- 

Spartacus at their head requisite to men." Chatham Corresp. iii. 203, note, 

beat your troops and your custom " This very morning," wrote Bernard 

house officers out of the country, and to Hillsborough, July 9, 1768, " the 

set your laws at defiance. There is selectmen of the town ordered the 

no saying what their leaders may put magazine of arms belonging to the 

them upon ; but if they are active, town to be brought out to be cleaned, 

clever people, and love mischief as when they were exposed for some 

well as I do peace and quiet, they will hours at the town house." See also 

furnish matter of consideration to the Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. 16, 

wisest among you, and perhaps die- 1768; and comp. the Vindication of 

tate their own terms at last, as the the Town of Boston, p. 28. 
lioman people formerly in their fa- * Hutchinson, iii. 205 ; Boston 

mous secession upon the Sacred Mount. Weekly News Letter for Sept. 15, 

For my own part, I think you have 1768; Boston Gazette for Sept. 19, 

no right to tax them, and that every 1768. 

measure built upon this supposed 2 Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. 

right stands upon a rotten foundation, 16, 1768. 
and must consequently tumble down, 


chap. Otis, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock. 1 The selectmen 
were directed to write to the several towns, informing them of 
1768. this design ; and it was recommended that all the inhabitants 
should be provided with firearms and suitable ammunition. 2 
Nor was the time-honored custom of the fathers of New Eng- 
land forgotten ; and a day of fasting and prayer was appoint- 

Sep. 20. ed, and observed by all the churches except the Episcopal. 3 

By royalists the proceedings of this meeting were loudly 
condemned. " They have delivered their sentiments," wrote 
Gage, " in the style of a ruling and sovereign nation, who ac- 
knowledge no dependence." 4 The "Sons of Liberty "were 
stigmatized as " Catilines ; " 5 and Bernard was sure that, but 
for the Eomney, a rebellion would have broken out. Nay, he 
even asserted that a design had been concerted to seize the 
Castle, and talked of divulging the names of five hundred 
who had enrolled for the service. 6 " I wish I were away," he 
sighed, as he felt the perplexities of his situation increasing 
upon him ; and when the offer of a baronetcy and the vice 
government of Virginia was made to him, he accepted it 
" most thankfully," and " hoped to embark for England in a 
fortnight." But his hopes were dashed by the appointment 
of Botetourt, and he began to fear lest he should lose Massa- 
chusetts. 7 

1 " Surely," wrote Bernard to Hills- 5 Auchmuty to Hutchinson, Sept. 
borough, " so daring an assumption of 14, 1768. 

the royal authority was never prac- 6 Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. 

tised by any city or town in the Brit- 16, 1768. Comp. Vindication of the 

ish dominions, even in the times of Town of Boston, 30. The printed 

greatest disorder — not even by the copy of the former document reads, 

city of London when the great rebel- nine hundred, and of the latter, five 

lion was at the highest, and the con- hundred, men. Hutchinson, Hist. iii. 

fusion arising from thence most urgent 167, note, says, " Mr. Molineaux " was 

for some extraordinary measures." the one who " proposed, at the head 

2 Hutchinson, iii. App. L., where of 500 men, to surprise the garrison 
the letter is given in full ; also, Post- at the Castle ; " " a strange, mad pro- 
script to Boston News Letter for posal," he adds, " if such a one were 
Sept. 22, 1768. eve?- made:' 

3 Hutchinson, iii. 203-205 ; Ban- 7 Hillsborough to Gage, Sept. 16, 
croft, vi. 199. ■ 1768 ; Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. 

4 Gage to Hillsborough, Sept. 26, 17 and 18, 1768; Captain Corner's 
1768. Diary for Sept. 15, 1768, in Bancroft, 


Three days before the convention was to meet, Bernard chap. 
announced to the Council that two regiments were expected ^^ 
from Ireland, and that two others had been ordered by Gen- 176S. 
eral Gage from Halifax, for which quarters should be provided. 
As the mutiny act formerly stood, the civil officers had a gen- 
eral discretionary power of quartering troops in inns, livery 
stables, retailing houses, &c. ; but that act had been changed ; 
and the Council, in their reply, suggested that " the process in 
quartering should be regulated accordingly, by sending the 
troops to the barracks ; and only in case of a lack of room 
there were they required to find other quarters." There was 
sufficient room at the barracks, they added, for a thousand men, 
and, consequently, enough to accommodate the two regiments 
from Halifax. But as for the orders of General Gage, " it was 
no disrespect to him to say, that no order whatever, coming 
from a less authority than his majesty and Parliament, can 
supersede an act of Parliament ; " and " if any military officer 
should take upon himself to quarter soldiers in any of his 
majesty's dominions in America otherwise than was limited 
and allowed by the act, he should be ipso facto cashiered, and 
disabled to hold any military employment in his majesty's 
service." * 

The convention called by the people of Boston met accord- Sep. 22, 
ing to appointment ; and, on the first day, about seventy per- 
sons appeared as the representatives of sixtj T -six towns. This 
number was increased by daily arrivals, until ninety-six towns 
and eight districts, nearly every settlement in the province, 
were represented. 2 Otis was at first absent ; and Thomas 
Cushing, the speaker of the House, was chosen moderator, and 

vi. 200. Comp. Hutchinson, iii. 199. 23 and 26, 1768 ; Hutchinson, iii. 

Junius describes Botetourt as a " crin- 207, 208 ; Mass. Gazette for Sept. 

ging, bowing, fawning, sword-bearing 22, 1768. 

courtier, who had ruined himself by 2 Boston News Letter for Oct. 6, 

an enterprise which would have ruined 1768; Holmes's Ann. ii. ; Hutchin- 

thousands had it succeeded." son, iii. 208, 209 ; Grahame, ii. 437 ; 

1 Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. Bancroft, vi 203. 


chap, the clerk of the House was chosen clerk of the convention, 

s _J5^ " They have committed treason/ 7 shouted the officers of the 

1768. crown. " At least, the selectmen of Boston have done so.'"' 

" Boston," wrote Gage, " is mutinous ; its resolves treasonable 

and desperate." "Mad people procured them; mad people 

govern the town and the province." l 

The first step of the convention was to petition the governor 
to " cause an assembly to be immediately convened ; " but this 
petition he refused to receive, on the ground that it would be 
an admission of the legality of the convention, which he would 
by no means acknowledge ; and he advised the " gentlemen 
assembled at Faneuil Hall under the name of a committee of 
convention " to separate at once, or he would publicly assert 
the prerogative of the crown, and they who persisted in usurp- 
ing its rights should be made to " repent their rashness ; " but 
the message was received with derision. 2 

The Council, as a branch of the legislature, had held meet- 
ings from time to time, with the consent of the governor, and 
had been consulted by him in their official capacity in several 
instances ; but when the question of quartering the troops was 
referred to them a second time, in order to shake their former 
resolution, they replied, " We do not desire to be knocked on 
the head," 3 and reduced to writing their reasons for adhering 
Sep. 26. to the billeting act. This decision was communicated to the 
governor, was published in the Gazette, and a copy of the 
same was sent to Lord Hillsborough. 4 It was the " greatest 
blow," in the estimation of Bernard, " that had been given to 

1 Paper enclosed in Gage's letter of ner Great Britain will resent this pro- 
Sept. 26, 1768, in Letters, &c. 41 ; Ban- ceeding. It is concluded that the 
croft, vi. 203. For a defence of the most probable consequence will be 
province against the charge of trea- the forfeiture of the charter. If this 
son, see Pownall's Speech of Feb. is the worst, it is an event most de- 
1769, p. 5. voutly to be desired by every well 

2 Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. wisher to the province." 

27 and Oct. 3, 1768 ; Hutchinson, iii. 3 Comp. Bernard to Hillsborough, 

210. " It is now made a great ques- June 13, 1768. 

tion," writes Bernard, " in what man- 4 Bancroft, vi. 204. 


the kings government." " Nine tenths of the people consid- chap. 
ered the declaration of the Council just ; " " throughout the ^J^lw 
province they were ripe for almost any thing ; " and the minis- 1768. 
try, astonished at the storm they had raised, dared not insist 
further. 1 

The convention continued in session six days, and repeated 
the protest of the people against the taxation of the colonies 
by Parliament, against a standing army, and against the danger 
to the " liberties of America from a united body of pensioners 
and soldiers ; " and, after renewing their petition to the king, 
which their agent was enjoined to deliver in person as soon 
as possible, they dissolved. 2 " Some feared, others hoped, for 
much more serious consequences from this extraordinary as- 
sembly ; " but its members, aware of the necessity of prudence, 
displayed in all their proceedings remarkable caution ; and 
when the result of their labors was transmitted to England, 
though many would gladly have seized upon the slightest flaw 
to justify their exemplary punishment, " no traces of high trea- 
son could be found in what had been done." 3 

On the very day that this convention was dissolved the Sep. 28 
squadron from Halifax, consisting of seven armed vessels, en- 
tered the bay, and at noon was anchored off Nantasket. But 
few of the members had left for their homes ; and curiosity 
was awakened to see with what reception the troops, which 
had been embarked in the squadron, would meet. Their com- 
mander, Colonel Dalrymple, on reaching the town, expressed 
great surprise " that no quarters had been prepared ; " but the 
Council, which was convened, declared their intention to ad- Sep. 29. 
here to the law. Nothing remained, therefore, but for the 
colonel to act in obedience to his instructions ; and he did so. 

1 Bernard to Hillsborough, Sept. 1768, in Boston Gazette for Sept. 26 
27, 1768 ; Hutchinson to Whateley, and Oct. 10, 1768, and Postscript to 
Oct. 4, 1768 ; A. Eliot to T. Hollis, Boston News Letter for Oct. 13, 
Sept. 27, 1768; Bancroft, vi. 204, 1768. 

205. 3 Cavendish Debates, i. 1 96 ; Hutch- 

2 Letter to D'e Berdt, Sept. 27, inson, iii. 212; Bancroft, vi. 206. 
VOL. II. 24 


chap. The governor, anticipating resistance, had slipped into the 
^^ country ; and the colonel was left to " take the whole upon 
1768. himself." x The preparations for the landing were made with 
a view to prevent resistance ; and the eight ships of war, which 
were in the harbor, including the Romney, with their tenders, 
were placed off the wharves, with cannon loaded and springs on 
their cables. Never before had the citizens of Massachusetts 
witnessed such a spectacle ; and the indignation of all classes 
may be easily imagined. Yet no outcry was made ; no resist- 
ance was shown. In perfect silence the crowd looked on as 
the fourteenth, and twenty-ninth, and part of the fifty-ninth 
regiments stepped on Long Wharf. The troops were all 
armed, and their bayonets were fixed ; and in this warlike at- 
titude they marched through the streets, with drums beating 
and colors flying, until they reached the Common, where they 
halted. 2 

As the twenty-ninth regiment was provided with field equi- 
page, they proceeded to encamp. For the rest there was no 
shelter. Application was accordingly made to the selectmen 
for quarters ; but, in imitation of the Council, they chose to 
abide by the law. As the night was cold, however, compassion 
prevailed, and, at a meeting hastily called, the benumbed troops 
were allowed to shelter themselves in Faneuil Hall. " I have 
got possession of the School of Liberty, and thereby secured 
all their arms," was the triumphant exclamation of Dalrymple. 
" I will keep possession of this town, where faction seems to 
prevail beyond conception." Nor was it difficult to carry out 
this threat ; for who was there to oppose ? The people stood 
on the defensive, and were determined not to be the aggressors. 
Secure in their integrity, and with the law on their side, they 
left the blustering officer to follow his own bent. 3 

1 Dalrymple to Hood, Oct. 4, 5, ii. 437 ; J. Adams's Diary, in Works, 
1768. ii. 213; Bancroft, vi. 207; Drake's 

2 Hutchinson to , Oct. 4, 1768, Boston. 

and Hist. iii. 212 ; Holmes's Ann. ii. ; 3 Hutchinson, iii. 212 ; Bancroft, vi. 
Gordon's Am. Rev. i. 247 j Grahame, 209. 


The requisition for allowances to the troops was laid before chap. 
the Council. " We are ready," was the reply, " to comply on ^Jj^ 
our part with the act of Parliament, if the colonel will on his." 1768. 
But the colonel would make no concessions, and " took the 
liberty " to inform them that " he would represent the affair to 
the general, and would also send an express to England, to 
give advice of their refusal." After further deliberation, the Oct. 5 
Council consented to appoint a commissary, if that person 
would " take the risk of being paid by the province." In this 
they acted warily ; for they well knew that the power of ap- 
propriating moneys belonged to the House ; and the legislature 
had been dissolved. 1 

At length General Gage came personally to Boston, before 
the arrival of the Irish regiments, and demanded quarters for 
the regiments in the town. " The barracks are not yet filled," 
was the reply ; " and we are under no obligations to make 
further provisions until the law has been complied with." 2 
Attempts were then made by the governor and sheriff to take 
possession of the old manufactory house, which was in a ruin- 
ous condition ; but the occupants had counselled with the best 
lawyer in the province, and, " encouraged by several of the 
first-rate sons of liberty," they refused to quit. A day or two 
after, the sheriff " entered the house by surprise ; " but the 
clamor against him was so great that he was compelled to 
leave. 3 " I am at the end of my tether," said Bernard. " I can * 
do no more." And the general was left to shift for himself. 

The weather was daily increasing in severity ; and the con- 
dition of the troops, even of those who had tents, was far from 
agreeable. The commanding officer, therefore, was " obliged 
to hire houses at very dear rates," and to procure supplies at 
the charge of the crown. All that he could do, under the 

1 Postscript to Boston News Let- 2 Gage to Hood, Oct. 18, 1768. 

ter for Oct. 6 and 13, 1768 ; Boston 3 Narr. of Boston Massacre, 17 ; 

Gazette for Oct. 10, 1768; Hutchin- Hutchinson, iii. 215; Bancroft, vi. 

eon, iii. 213 ; Bancroft, vi. 210. 210. 


chap, circumstances, was to threaten ; and, as a measure of intimida- 

V T 

^^J^, tion, the main guard was stationed directly opposite the State 
1768. House, which was occupied by the troops, and cannon were 
pointed towards the rooms in which the legislature was accus- 
tomed to sit. 1 Still, every thing was quiet ; and the Council, 

Oct. 27. as an act of justice to the province, prepared a memorial, 
signed by fifteen out of nineteen, appealing to the general to 
testify, from his own observation, that the town was in a peace- 
ful state, and accusing the commissioners of giving rise to the 
principal riot, and of unnecessarily withdrawing to the Castle, 
to induce a belief that they needed protection. If, upon inqui- 
ry, he should find their statements to be true, and should be 
satisfied that his majesty's service did not require the regiments 
from Halifax to remain in the town, they suggested that it 
would be a " great ease and satisfaction to the inhabitants " if 
he would be pleased to " order them to Castle William or Point 
Shirley, and to order to the place where they were first intend- 

Oct. 28. ed the two regiments from Ireland." 2 The reply of the gen- 
eral contained a partial acknowledgment of the justness of 
these representations ; yet, in compliance with the wishes of 
Bernard, he was unwilling to remove the troops, and advised 
barracks, &c, on Fort Hill, to command the town. Thus a 
military despotism was established in the province. "These 
red coats make a formidable appearance," said Hutchinson, 
exultingly. But Bernard, more timid and irresolute in his 
character, feared that " troops would not restore the authority 
of government," and urged anew a forfeiture of the charter. 

1 Supp't to Mass. Gazette for Nov. 1768, in Letters, &e. 129, 134 ; Mass. 
3, 1768 ; Narr. of Boston Massacre, Gazette for Nov. 3, 1768 ; Boston Ga- 
16, 17; Hutchinson, iii. 215; Ban- zette for Oct. 31, 1768; Hutchinson, 
croft, vi. 211. iii. 215, 216. 

2 Address of Council, Dec. 27, » 



Boston was a garrisoned town. The people were subjected chap. 

to the evil they dreaded. Their liberties were at the mercy ^^ 

of a hireling soldiery. It was evident to all that it had been 1768. 
resolved in England to enforce the power of Parliament at 
the point of the sword, and that the menaces which had been 
thrown out were not idle. 1 How soon these threats would 
be executed depended upon the course of the officers of the 
crown. Should they assume arrogant airs, or instigate the 
soldiery to deeds of violence, the struggle would be precipi 
tated. Should they adopt a more prudent course, it might be 
delayed. That it must come before long few could doubt, for 
the signs of the times were threatening and ominous. Every 
one felt that the die was thrown, and that, if England did not 
recede from the position she had assumed, a popular outbreak 
would be the result. It is not in the nature of man to submit 
with tameness to continued encroachments upon his real or con- 
ceived rights. He may forbear for a time ; but when the yoke 
presses too heavily, an effort will be made to throw it off ; and 
the success of that effort rests with God. The reverent spirit 
with which the people of New England had been accustomed, 
from the infancy of their settlements, to speak of the " mother 

1 " My daily reflections for two the determination of Great Britain to 

years," writes John Adams, (Diary, in subjugate us was too deep and invet- 

works, ii. 2 14,) " at the sight of those erate ever to be altered by us ; for 

soldiers before my door, were serious every thing we could do was misrep- 

enough. Their very appearance in resented, and nothing we could say 

Boston was a strong proof to me that was credited." 



chap, country ; " the sincere attachment which they had always felt 
to the homes of their ancestors ; the conviction which was 
cherished that the land of their fathers was blessed above all 
others in the possession of a wise and beneficent constitution, 
— these might lead them to weigh well the consequences of a 
rupture with that country, and to deprecate every step tending 
to disunion. But if forced to resist by a course of legislation 
from which relief was sought in vain, they argued, and justly, 
that the responsibility must rest, not with them, but with those 
who sanctioned that course and persisted in adhering to it. 
The state papers of Massachusetts commemorate the wisdom 
of the men who framed them. Their tone is firm, yet prudent 
and respectful. They were not the productions of visionary 
enthusiasts, ignorant of the principles of natural law. They 
were the effusions of an ardent and enlightened patriotism. 
And the men who guided the destinies of the province — those, 
at least, upon whom the greatest reliance was placed — were 
clear-headed, far-seeing, deep-thinking men. They pondered 
well every word they sent forth to the world. Not a hasty 
sentence escaped from their pens. They knew what they were 
doing ; had counted the cost ; had looked into the future as 
far as was possible ; and had formed their conclusions after 
mature deliberation. Hence a resolute spirit breathes through- 
out their acts. They wrought for themselves, and they wrought 
for posterity. 1 

The soldiers who had been quartered in Boston soon fell in 
love with the country, and numbers deserted. 2 But there were 
still enough left to parade the streets, to the scandal of the 
town ; 3 and the officers of the customs, inspired by their pres- 

1 I speak here of state papers. In 2 Eliot to Hollis, Oct. 17, 1768. 
newspaper effusions greater license is 3 " Through the whole fall and win- 
taken ; and many of the pieces in the ter," writes John Adams, (Diary, in 
journals of the day were written un- Works, ii. 213,) "a regiment was ex- 
der the impulse of glowing passions, ercised by Major Small, in Brattle 
Yet the prudent wrote more calmly, Square, directly in front of my house, 
though even their productions were The spirit-stirring drum and the ear- 
often spicy. piercing fife aroused me and my fern- 


ence, ventured once more to gratify their spite by arresting, on chap. 
charges which were never established, a fevv who had formerly XI£ 
resisted their authority. 1 To this exceptions were taken ; but 1768. 
the people waited patiently for intelligence from abroad, and 
were especially anxious to know the decision of the king and 
of Parliament. By early advices they were informed that 
Shelburne had been dismissed, that Pitt had resigned, that the Oct. 12. 
privy seal had been conferred upon the Earl of Bristol, and 
that the Earl of Rochford, lately ambassador at Paris, had 
become secretary of state. 2 But these changes, eventful as 
they were, produced less sensation than the speech of the king 
at the opening of Parliament, who railed at " the spirit of fac- Nov. 8. 
tion " which he had hoped was " well nigh extinguished/ 7 but 
which had broken out "afresh in some of the colonies." Bos- 
ton, in particular, appeared to be " in a state of disobedience 
to all law and government," and had " proceeded to measures 
subversive of the constitution, and attended with circumstances 
that might manifest a disposition to throw off its dependence 
on Great Britain." " With your concurrence and support," he 
added, " I shall be able to defeat the mischievous designs of 
those turbulent and seditious persons who, under false pretences, 
have but too successfully deluded numbers of my subjects in 
America, and whose practices, if suffered to prevail, cannot fail 
to produce the most fatal consequences to my colonies imme- 
diately, and, in the end, to all the dominions of my crown." 3 

The debate which followed was warm and animated. Lord 
Henly, the son of Lord Northington, in moving the address in 
the House of Commons, charged the Bostonians with " defying 

ily early enough every morning, and 2 Chatham Corresp. iii. 336-348 ; 
the indignation they excited, though Mass. Gazette for Jan. 16, 1769; Bel- 
somewhat soothed, was not allayed sham's George III. i. 218 ; Lord Ma- 
by the sweet songs, violins, and flutes hon's Hist. Eng. v. 200-204 ; Ban- 
of the serenading Sons of Liberty croft, vi. 214, 215. 
under my windows in the evening." 3 Debates in Pari. v. 11, 12 ; Mass. 
1 Gage to Hillsborough, March 5, Gazette for Jan. 16, 1769 ; Boston 
1769. Hancock and Malcom were Gazette for Jan. 16, 1769. 
among those who were arrested. 


chap, all legal authority ; " and Stanley, in seconding his motion, 
J^_ declared that the " difficulties in governing Massachusetts " 
1768. were " insurmountable, unless its charter and laws should be 
so changed as to give the king the appointment of the Council, 
and to the sheriffs the sole power of returning juries." Burke 
replied, defending the colonies, 1 and insisting that the order 
• requiring the General Court to rescind their resolutions, under 
a penalty, was absolutely illegal and unconstitutional ; and in 
this, surprising as it may seem, Grenville agreed with him, as 
did also Wedderburne. Barrington " wished the stamp act 
had never been passed ; " yet he accused the Americans as 
" traitors," and " worse than traitors, against the crown." 
■• The troops have been sent thither," he added, " to bring riot- 
ers to justice." Rigby spoke in the same strain ; but Beckford, 
who represented the city of London, suggested that ■ ■ it were 
best to repeal the late act, and conciliate the colonies by mod- 
eration and kindness." At length Lord North, the organ of 
the ministry, gave his opinion. " I am against repealing the 
last act of Parliament," said he ; " I will never think of repeal- 
ing it until I see America prostrate at my feet." 2 This speech 
decided the question. The address was carried in the Com- 
mons without a division ; and the House of Lords readily 
acquiesced. 3 "We shall always," was the language of this 
■ address, " consider it as one of our most important duties to 
maintain entire and inviolate the supreme authority of the 

1 Some writers have insinuated that 43,90,91; Johnson to Pitkin, Nov. 
Burke's defence of America was insin- 18, 1768 ; Boston Gazette for Jan. 23, 
cere, and that, " while vague rhapso- 1769 ; and comp. Hutchinson, iii. 219. 
dies about liberty decorated his ha- 3 For the address, see Debates in 
rangues, his object was to introduce Pari. v. 13-15. In a pamphlet enti- 
his party to power, and, by equivocal tied " The State of the Nation," &c, 
concessions to the American people, published in Oct. 1768, Grenville ap- 
and flattering patronage of the Amer- pears as the advocate of American 
ican chieftains, to purchase a pacific representation. " The number of 
reconciliation capable of being cor- electors," said he, "is become too 
rupted afresh into dependence." Ann. small in proportion to the whole peo- 
Review, and Grahame, ii. 439, note. pie, and the colonies ought to be al- 

2 On this debate see Lee's I^ee, lowed to send members to Parlia- 
261, 262; Cavendish Debates, i. 32- ment." 


legislature of Great Britain over every part of the British chap. 
empire." " We will, by every means in our power, cheerfully J^^ 
and zealously support your majesty in all such future measures 1768. 
as shall be found requisite to enforce a due obedience to the 
laws, restore order and good government where they have 
been disturbed, and to establish the constitutional dependence 
of the colonies of Great Britain, so essential to the interest 
and prosperity of both." 

Thus war against the colonies was virtually declared. " De- 
pend upon it," said Hillsborough, " Parliament will not suffer 
their authority to be trampled upon. We wish to avoid sever- 
ities towards you ; but if you refuse obedience to our laws, the * 
whole fleet* and army of England shall enforce it." * In the 
spirit. of this threat, he communicated to the agents of the dif- Dec. 6. 
ferent provinces the result of a council held by the cabinet. 
" Administration," said he, " will enforce the authority of the 
legislature of Great' Britain over the colonies in the most 
effectual manner, but with moderation and lenity." 2 De 
Choiseul, the French minister at St. James's, foresaw the con- 
sequences which must spring from such conduct ; and to the 
question of Du Chatelet, " Can the ministry reduce the colo- 
nies ? " he replied, " To the menace of rigor they will never 
give way, except in appearance and for a time. The fire will 
be but imperfectly extinguished unless other means than those 
of force conciliate the interests of the metropolis and its colo- 
nies. The Americans will not lose out of their view their 
rights and their privileges ; and next to fanaticism for religion 
the fanaticism for liberty is the most daring in its measures 
and the most dangerous in its consequences." 3 

The question of taxation was of vital importance ; and this 
was the question principally in dispute. " No force on earth," * 

1 Johnson to the governor of Con- necticut, Jan. 3, 1769 ; Bancroft, vi. 
necticut, Nov. 18, 1768; Bancroft, vi. 238. 

216. 3 Choiseul to Du Chatelet, Nov. 22, 

2 Johnson to the governor of Con- 1768, quoted in Bancroft, vi. 236. 


chap, wrote the governor of New Jersey, " is sufficient to make the 
^3^ assemblies acknowledge, by any act of theirs, that the Parlia- 
1768. ment has a right to impose taxes on America ; " and this dec- 
laration was every where echoed. 1 The papers relating to the 
colonies, including the letter? of Bernard and Gage and those 
of the commissioners of the customs, were laid before Parlia- 
Nov.28. ment towards the close of the year, and referred to a commit- 
Dec. 10. tee to consider and report what measures should be adopted. 
This subject was for several weeks under consideration ; and 
the debates which ensued covered a wide field. 2 

It is not unworthy of notice here that, at the very time Par- 
liament was censuring the colonies for their " riotous " beha- 
vior, England itself was agitated by a worse spirit. " Look 
at home," wrote Franklin. " I have seen, within a year, riots 
in the country about corn ; riots about elections ; riots about 
workhouses : riots of colliers ; riots of weavers ; riots of coal' 
heavers ; riots of» sawyers ; riots of Wilkesites ; riots of gov- 
ernment chairmen ; riots of smugglers, in which custom house 
officers and excisemen have been murdered, and the king's 
armed vessels and troops fired at." 3 These disturbances, how- 
ever, were at home ; those in the colonies were abroad ; and 
distance so magnified them that they became gigantic. Hence 
the ministry were deluded, and relied too confidently upon the 
exaggerated statements of Bernard and Hutchinson. True, 
some members of the House of Commons were better informed, 
and viewed things more calmly. " The Americans," said Beck- 
ford, " believe there is a settled design in this country to rule 
them with a military force." " Want of knowledge, as well as 
a want of temper," added Lord Beauchamp, " has gradually led 
us to the brink of a precipice, on which we look down with 
horror." " My heart will bleed," said Phips, " for every drop 

1 W. Franklin to Hillsborough, in the Boston News Letter for April 
Nov. 22, 1768. 7, 1769, and Boston Gazette for April 

2 Bradford, i. 174. A list of these 3,1769. 

papers, over 60 in number, is given 3 Works, iv. 293, 294. 


of American blood that shall be shed, whilst their grievances chap. 
are unredressed. I wish to see the Americans in our arms as ^^ 
friends, not to meet them as enemies." 1 But these prudent 1768. 
counsels were uttered in vain ; for, when the House divided, 
out of two hundred who were present, one hundred and twenty- 
seven voted to confine the inquiry. 

Hillsborough exulted at the victory thus gained. "The 
matter," said he, "is now brought to a point. Parliament 
must give up its authority over the colonies, or bring them to 
effectual submission. Legislation and taxation will stand or 
fall together. The notion of the Americans is a polytheism in 
politics, absurd, fatal to the constitution, and never to be ad- 
mitted." In conclusion, he proposed a series of resolutions 
expressive of the sense of the legislature. " If this is not suffi- 
cient," he added, " the hand of power must be lifted up, and 
the whole force of this country exerted to bring the colonies 
into subjection." 2 Bedford seconded these resolutions, and 
moved, in addition, an address to the king, to bring " to con- 
dign punishment the chief authors and instigators of the late 
disorders, pursuant to the provisions of the statute of the 35th 
of Henry VIII. ;" and both the resolutions and the address 
were adopted, with no opposition except from Richmond and 
Shelburne. 3 

In the following month the resolutions and the address came 1769. 
before the Commons for discussion ; and " the grand debate on 
the North American affairs commenced." 4 The speakers were 
numerous, and were listened to with attention. The ministry 
showed what they had done, and what they intended to do ; 
" that, on the representation of Governor Bernard and the 

1 Bancroft, vi. 239, 240. Hist. xvi. 485, &c. Bollan presented 

2 Pari. Hist. Eng. xvi. 476, 477 ; a petition at this time against the 
Johnson to the governor of Connec- pending resolutions, a debate ensued 
ticut, Jan. 3, 1769 ; Bancroft, vi. 245, on the question of its reception, and 
246. it was rejected by a vote of over two 

3 Pari. Hist. Eng. xvi. 479, 480 ; to one. Debates, &c. ; Bradford, i. 
Bancroft, vi. 246. 175 ; Cavendish Debates, i. 185 ; Bos- 

4 Debates in Pari. v. 21 ; Pari, ton Gazette for April 17, 1768. 


chap, commissioners of the customs, they had ordered troops and 
^^^^ ships to Boston, by whose assistance every thing was now 
1769. quiet ; that they intended to keep them there ; that by not 
repealing the tax bills they would show to North America their 
intentions to be steadily and firmly their masters ; that, by 
bringing over the culpable, they hoped to strike a greater ter- 
ror than any trials could do in that country, where it would 
be impossible to get a jury not involved in the same guilt ; 
and several law arguments to show that the act of 35 Henry 
VIII. subsisted in full force against the North Americans." * 
The opponents of the resolves attacked them with vigor. " No 
lawyer," said Dowdeswell, " will justify them ; none but the 
House of Lords, who think only of their dignity, could have 
originated them." " God and nature oppose you," said Burke. 
Even Grenville scoffed at the plan as " the wisdom which fools 
put on." Barre declared, " The question is not of one refrac- 
tory colony. The whole country is ripe for revolt. If we do 
not change our conduct towards her, America will be torn 
from our side. I repeat it, unless you repeal this law, you run 
the risk of losing America." And Pownall, the former gov- 
ernor of Massachusetts, from his acquaintance with the charac- 
ter and feelings of the people and the state and resources of 
the country, expressed his conviction that they could not be 
coerced into submission to the laws ; that, though faithful and 
loyal, they might be exasperated beyond endurance ; and that 
conciliatory measures would be far more effectual in securing 
their allegiance. " The Americans," said he, " do universally, 
invariably, and unalterably declare that they ought not to sub- 
mit to any internal taxes imposed upon them by any legisla- 
ture wherein they have not representatives of their own elec- 
tion. The people of that country and the king's troops are, 
as it were, set in array against each other. The sword, indeed, 
is not drawn ; but the hand is upon it. The word for action 

1 Debates in Pari. v. 22. 


.3 not, indeed, yet given ; but mischief is on tiptoe, and the chap 
slightest circumstance would in a moment throw every thing xs ^ 
into confusion and bloodshed. And if some mode of policy 1769. 
does not interpose to remove this exertion of military power, 
the union between Great Britain and North America is broken 
forever, unless — what is worse — both are united in one 
common ruin." ] Eloquence, however, was of no avail. At 
four in the morning, " the whole House in confusion, laughing, Jan. 27. 
&c," the resolutions were adopted by nearly three votes to one, 
and the address was carried by a decided majority. 2 

The soldiers quartered in Boston found nothing to do but , 
to insult defenceless females, and parade, the streets with clubs 
in their hands as if provoking a brawl. 3 But the spirit of the 
people was unawed. It was well known that a design was on 
foot to seize severa 1 of the foremost of the "Sons of Liberty," 
to be sent to England on a charge of treason. In the previous 
fall word was given out that, on the arrival of the regiments 1768. 

Nov. ^ 

from Ireland, Cushing and sixteen others, who had been mem- 
bers of the convention, would be arrested ; 4 and all through 
the winter similar rumors were circulated. 5 " I have enter- 
tained the opinion for a long time," wrote Oliver, 6 that, if 
there be no way to take off the original incendiaries, they will 
still continue to instil their poison into the minds of the people 
through the vehicle of the Boston Gazette." But whatever 
apprehensions may have been awakened by these rumors, the 
ferment was increased by the conduct of the governor, who, in 

1 Pownall's Speech of Feb. 1769, and soldiers by the justices of the 
p. 8 ; Debates in Pari. v. 21-24 ; peace for Suffolk, at their quarter ses- 
Grahame, ii. 439; Bradford, i. 176; sion, and the grand jury; and comp. 
Bancroft, vi. 253, 254. Bradford, i. 178, and note. 

2 Boston News Letter for March 4 Frances to Choiseul, Nov. 4, 1768, 
23 and April 20, 1769; Grahame, ii. in Bancroft, vi. 230. 

440 ; Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 5 See Hood to Stephens, Dec. 12, 

241 ; Bancroft, vi. 255. For the re- 1768, in Letters, &c. 113, and comp. 

solves and address see Debates in S. Adams, in Boston Gazette for Dec. 

Pari. v. 64-67. The address is given 5, 12, and 19, 1768, under the signa- 

in the Mass. Gazette for April 13, ture of " Vindex." 
1769. 6 Letter of Feb. 13, 1769, in Rep- 

a See the indictments of the officers resentations, &c. 28. 


chap, conjunction with Hutchinson, as the season drew near for the 


^^^ choice of a new assembly, sought to prevent the election of 
1769. councillors, and solicited their appointment by the ministry, 

J a,n. Zo. 

furnishing for that purpose a list of persons favorable to gov- 
» eminent. 1 " There must be," said Hutchinson, " an abridgment 
of what are called English liberties.' 7 "If no measures are 
taken to secure the dependence of this people, or nothing more 
than some declaratory acts or resolves, it is all .over with us. 
The friends of government will be utterly disheartened, and 
the friends of anarchy will be afraid of nothing, be it ever so 



In accordance with these views, Bernard, and Hutchinson, 
and Oliver, in connection with the attorney general, busied 
themselves in seeking evidence against the leading patriots of 
the town, especially against Otis and Samuel Adams ; and affi- 
davits were sworn to, and sent to England, attainting them of 
treason. 3 Proceedings were likewise instituted against Edes 
and Gill, the publishers of the Boston Gazette and the " trum- 
peters of sedition ; " and through them a blow was aimed at 
" all the chiefs of the faction " and " all the authors of number- 
less treasonable and seditious writings." 4 Already had Par- 

Feb. 8. liament requested the king to " make inquisition for treason in 
Boston, and to bring over the accused to England for trial \ " 5 
and, thus strengthened, the enemies to colonial freedom were 
encouraged to persevere. De Grey and Dunning, the attor- 

1768. ney and solicitor general, had indeed given it as their opinion 
' that the statute of the 35th of Henry VIII. was the only one 
by which criminals could be tried in England for offences com- 
mitted in America ; but they declared at the same time that 

1 Bernard to Hillsborough, Jan. 26, 3 Bernard to Hillsborough, Jan. 24, 
and Feb. 4, 14, and 21, 1769 ; Hutch- 1769 ; Bradford, i. 175 ; Bancroft, vi. 
inson to Williams, Jan. 26, and to 251. 

Jackson, Jan. 28, 1769 ; Oliver's Let- 4 Bernard to Hillsborough, Jan. 25, 

ter of Feb. 13, 1769, in Eepresenta- 1769 : Bancroft, vi. 251. 

tions, &c. 29-32 ; Bancroft, vi. 249. 5 Debates in Pari. v. 53, 67 ; Hutch- 

2 Letter of Jan. 20, 1769, in Rep- inson, iii. 221; Grahame, ii. 440. 
resentations, &c. 16. % 


its provisions extended only to treason ; and that there was chap. 
no sufficient ground to fix the charge of high treason upon any ^^^^ 
persons named in the papers laid before them. 1 To such a 1769. 
decision'Hillsborough and his associates were unwilling to sub- 
mit ; and, determined to do all in their power to enforce the 
measures which they had long advocated, they clamored for 
judicial victims, and denounced the charter as encouraging 

The public despatches, which informed the province of the 
action of Parliament and of the resolves which had been 
adopted, were accompanied by private letters from friends 
to America, assuring the people that " they need not be afraid 
of the statute of Henry VIII. , which was held up in terro- 
rem only, and which even the crown lawyers did not intend 
should be carried into execution ; " and the opinion was gen- 
erally expressed that " no vigorous measures were intended ; " 
" lenient and healing measures " were said to be the plan ; 
and "it was agreed that the last act for duties on paper, 
&c, would be repealed, if not that session, certainly in the 
next." 2 These assurances were as inspiring to the " Sons of 
Liberty" as they were disheartening to the servants of the 
crown. And the events which followed convinced the former 
that the intelligence they had received was not mere rumor ; 
for the plan of altering the charter was for the present laid 

1 Grey and Dunning to Hillsbor- jority in the House of Commons is so 
ough, Nov. 25, 1768; Andrews's Hist, great," writes a correspondent from 
of the War, i. 97 ; Bancroft, vi. 233, Manchester, March 8, in Boston News 
234. " Thus," says' Lord Mahon, Letter for May 18, 1769, "and so ve- 
" was it designed to draw forth the nal, that they vote any thing they are 
mouldering edict of a tyrant from the directed ; and all our hopes of redress 
dust where it had long lain, and where seem now to rest in the expectation 
it ever deserved to lie, and to fling it, that they will go such lengths the 
— instead of bread, a stone, — not people will bear no longer. We hope 
merely at the guilty, but also at the for, nay, we doubt not, the firmness 
innocent, whom it equally despoiled of of the Americans; that they will 
their rightful native juries. Such a calmly, without the last rioting or 
proposal, made at such a time, to me disobedience to the laws, abide by the 
it least appears utterly unjustifiable." constitutional principles they have so 

2 Hutchinson, iii. 222. " The ma' universally adopted." 


chap, aside ; l discretionary orders were transmitted to Gage tc 
J^J^ " send back to Halifax the two regiments which were brought 
1769. from that station, and to restore the regular rotation by send- 
ing the two other regiments to Ireland ; " 2 and Bernard re- 
Aprii. ceived the king's orders to leave his government and return to 
England. 3 The tendency of these steps was to allay the fever 
into which the people had been thrown. But the soldiers were 
not immediately removed ; and disturbances between them and 

• citizens of Boston frequently occurred. The Sabbath, too, was 
invaded, and its stillness was broken by the noise of drums and 
fifes. And the sentinels, who were posted at the barracks and 
at the gates of the principal officers, endangered the peace of 
the town by challenging passers. 4 

For nearly a year Massachusetts had been without a legis- 
lature. At length, in April, writs were issued by the governor, 
in the name of the king, for a General Court to be convened 
on the last Wednesday in May, according to the charter. A 
large number of soldiers were still stationed in Boston, where 
the assembly was to meet, and several ships of war were lying 
in the harbor ; and these circumstances confirmed the belief, 

* which was generally entertained, that the troops had been 
quartered in the metropolis, not only to assist in the execution 
of the laws of Parliament, but to influence the election, and 
even the votes and proceedings of the General Court. But 
neither the town nor the assembly was intimidated ; and their 
decision and firmness were never more marked than on this 

1 Hutchinson to Williams, Jan. 29, onet bestowed on him : " a most 
1769. ill-timed favor," says Lord Mahon, 

2 Hillsborough to Gage, March 24, " when he had so grievously failed in 
1769 ; Mass. Gazette for Jan. 9, 1769. gaining the affections or the confi- 
" It is reported that some of the troops dence of any order or rank of men 
here have received marching orders within his province." Hist. Eng. v. 
from General Gage ; some say they 241. Comp. Hutchinson, iii. 226 ; 
are destined for Newport and New London Gazette for March 23, 1769 ; 
York." Boston Post Boy for Jan. 2, Mass. Gazette for June 15, 1769. 
1769. 4 Narr. of Boston Massacre, 17. 

3 Hutchinson, iii. 225. Bernard Comp. Hutchinson, iii. 224. 
had recently had the dignity of bar- 


trying occasion. The selectmen of Boston requested General chap. 
Mackay, the commander of the troops, to have them removed J^^ 
fronLihe town on the day of the election. This request he 1769. 
declined, on the plea that it exceeded his authority ; but he 
gave strict orders for the men to remain in their barracks. 
After the election was over, the citizens instructed their repre- May 8. 
sentatives to maintain freedom of debate, which was esteemed 
an essential and a sacred privilege ; to require the troops to 
be removed from the town, as their presence was " inconsistent 
with the spirit and principles of the British constitution ; " to 
oppose the raising of money to pay for the support of the 
troops ; and to make diligent inquiry respecting the letters 
of Governor Bernard to ministers in England, in which both 
the town and the province had been misrepresented. 1 Nor 
did Boston stand alone ; for Salem, Marblehead, Cambridge, 
Roxbury, Braintree, and other towns gave similar instructions 
to their representatives ; and Roxbury, in particular, recom- 
mended a correspondence between the House of Representa- 
tives and the assemblies of the other colonies. 2 

Before the court met the American question was again a 
subject of discussion in England ; and Thomas Pownall, the April 26 
predecessor of Bernard in the government of Massachusetts, May 8. 
introduced a motion in the House of Commons for the repeal 
of the revenue acts. " There is a general dissatisfaction and 
uneasiness," said he, " as well here as in America, at our falling 
back into that controversy and contest between the govern- 

1 Boston News Letter for May 11, tives, and in their stead substituted 

1769; Boston Gazette for May 15, two of the " Sons of Liberty." See 

1769; Bradford, i. 179, 180; Ban- Boston News Letter for May 11, 

croft, vi. 284. Of the 508 votes cast 1769, and comp. Snow's Hist. Boston, 

in Boston at this election, Otis, Cush- 277. 

ing, Samuel Adams, and Hancock re- 2 Boston News Letter for May 1 1 

ceived each more than 500 ; and of and 25, and June 1, 1769 ; Mass. Ga- 

the 92 members of the old legislature zette for June 8, 1769 ; Hutchinson, iii. 

who voted not to rescind the resolu- 231 ; Bradford, i. 181 ; Bancroft, vi. 

tions of the House 81 were returned. 285. Of the "other towns," alluded 

Of the 17 rescinders but 5 were re- to in the text, I find named Brookline, 

turned. Salem, especially, condemned Spencer, Paxton, and Great Barring- 

the conduct of its former representa- ton. 

VOL. II. 25 


chap, ment and the colonies which we were once so happily delivered 
^3^ from. All now are convinced that there are no means of 
1769. deciding this controversy ; that there are no hopes of putting 
an end to the contest. Every event that arises raises fresh 
difficulties ; nothing but power can operate, and that can oper- 
ate only to mischief. Power, thus used, will inflame and unite 
i the colonies as in one common cause ; and every further exer- 
tion of that power will only press the people closer together, 
and render more intense and ardent that heat with which they 
are already inflamed. Times and occasions we cannot make ; 
when they arise, all we have to do is to profit by them. If, 
now, I can show that this is the proper occasion, the very 
crisis, in which government should interpose to extricate itself 
with honor and safety, — perhaps the only occasion in which it 
can interpose, — I shall not only vindicate myself for having 
made this motion, but, if I can explain this truth with that 
conviction with which it lies in my own breast, I shall be able 
also to persuade the House to act." " There have been strange 
violences and outrages in America ; the winds have beaten 
hard ; the storm has been high. The state, like a ship, has 
been driven into extreme danger, amidst shoals and breakers. 
But the people are now in a state of submission ; they are in 
suspense ; all is peace ; there is a lull in the storm. Now, 
therefore, is the moment to refit your rigging ; to work out 
the vessel from amidst these breakers, and to get her under 
way in her old course ; then you may bring her to the harbor 
you wish." 1 

The motion thus made was seconded by Trecothick and 
Beckford, the former of whom recounted the steps which had 
been taken in America to prevent the consumption of British, 
and to promote domestic, manufactures ; but Lord North re- 
plied, " We will not consent to go into the question on account 
of- tbo combinations in America ; " and, under the plea that 

1 For the speech of Pownall, see Debates in Pari. v. 93-103. 



" the late time of the sessions would not allow a matter of so chap. 
much consequence to be properly agitated," the motion was laid ^Ji~. 
overhand the acts continued in force. 1 1769. 

Thus, when the legislature of Massachusetts met, the griev- May 31 
ances which were complained of remained unredressed. The 
first act of the representatives, before proceeding to organize 
the House, was to draw up a protest, and appoint a committee 
to prepare and bring in an address to the governor, remon- 
strating against the breach of their privileges, and assuring him 
of their " firm resolution to promote the welfare of the subject « 
and support his majesty's authority ; to make a thorough inqui- 
ry into the grievances of the people, and have them redressed ; 
to amend, strengthen, and preserve the laws of the land ; to 
reform illegal proceedings in administration, and support the 
public liberty." " We have a right to expect," were the closing 
words of this address, " that your excellency will, as his majes- 
ty's representative, give the necessary and effectual orders for ■ 
the removal of the forces, by sea and land, out of this port and 
the gates of this city, during the session of this assembly." 2 

The reply of the governor was dry and laconic. " I have no 
authority," were his words, " over his majesty's ships in this 
port or his troops in this town ; nor can I give any orders for 
the removal of the same." 3 But the House was not satisfied, 
and criticised this message with ability and spirit. " We j U n. 13. 
clearly hold," say they, " that the king's most excellent majesty, » 
to whom we have borne and ever shall bear true and faithful 

1 Johnson to Trumbull, April 26, 
1769; Debates in Pari. v. 103; Bos- 
ton News Letter for July 6, 1769; 
Bancroft, vi. 273-278. 

2 Narr. of Boston Massacre, 17; 
Boston Gazette for June 5, 1769 ; 
Bradford's State Papers, 166-168; 
Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 5-7 ; Hutch- 
inson, iii. 233, 497, 498. The pream- 
ble to the order of the House was as 
follows : " Whereas the Great and 
General Court or Assembly of this 
province is here convened by his ma- 

jesty's writ, issued by the governor 
under the great seal of the province ; 
and whereas a standing army is now 
posted in this metropolis, and a mili- 
tary guard is kept with cannon point- 
ed at the very door of the State House, 
where this assembly is held ; ordered," 
&c. Otis, Sheafe, Hawley, Adams, and 
Cushing were the members of the 

3 Bradford's State Papers, 168, and 
Hist. i. 183 ; Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 
p. 8. 


chap, allegiance, is the supreme executive power through all the parts 

^l_i2 °f ^ ne British empire ; and we are humbly of opinion that, 

1769. within the limits of this colony and jurisdiction, your excellency 

is the king's lieutenant and commander-in-chief, in as full and 

ample manner as is the lord lieutenant of Ireland, or any other 

of his majesty's lieutenants, in the dominions to the realm of 

Great Britain appertaining." ] 

Nor did the struggle cease here ; for, when the councillors 

May 31. were chosen, and the list was sent to the governor for ap- 

June l. proval, no less than eleven were peremptorily rejected. Two 

of this number — William Brattle and James Bowdoin, who 

had received a unanimous vote — were of the council of the 

last year ; four — Otis, Bowers, Gerrish, and Saunders — had 

been " repeatedly disapproved ; " and the remaining five — 

Hancock, Ward, Greenleaf, Henshaw, and Spooner — " had 

not been before elected." Such an exercise of the veto power, 

if sanctioned by the charter, was certainly impolitic, and, in 

the excited state of the public mind, could not but increase the 

odium which attached to the conduct of the governor. 2 Gage, 

in the mean time, who had been intrusted with discretionary 

authority to withdraw the forces posted in Boston, ordered two 

of the regiments to Halifax, and requested Governor Bernard's 

written opinion respecting the disposition which should be 

made of the rest. 3 This was throwing upon the shoulders of 

his excellency a responsibility he was unwilling to assume ; 

and, after conferring with his special advisers, Hutchinson and 

* Oliver, he reported it to be their decided opinion that "the 

1 Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 18, 19; inson, iii. 241, 242, one of these regi- 
Boston Gazette for June 19, 1769 ; ments had sailed, and the other was 
Bradford's State Papers, 169-171; embarking, when the resolves of the 
Mass. Gazette for June 15, 1769. House appeared in print, on the 3d 

2 Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 10 ; Bos- of July ; and General Mackay, alarmed 
ton Gazette for June 5, 1769 ; Hutch- at their tone, determined, upon con- 
inson, iii. 234 ; Bradford, i. 185 ; Ban- sultation with Governor Bernard and 
croft, vi. 286. Commodore Hood, to put a stop to 

3 Gage to Mackay, June 4, 1769 ; the embarkation ; and an express was 
Mackay to Gage, June 12, 1769; Ban- sent to General Gage, at New York, 
croft, vi. 286. According to Hutch- for his directions. 


removal of the troops at that time would have very dangerous chap. 
consequences, and that it would be quite ruinous to the cause J^^ 
of the crown to draw them all out of the town." " Two regi- 1769. 
ments, one in the town and the other at the Castle, might be 
sufficient," he added ; and these at least should be left, if the 
others were removed. 1 

As the House had been in session for more than two weeks Jun. 15, 
without attending to the ordinary business of voting salaries 
and replenishing the treasury, the governor charged them with 
wasting the public money by needless debate, and threatened, 
unless they altered their course, to adjourn them to some other 
place. " It is an indifferent thing to me," said he, " where the 
General Court is held. I know that it is not necessarily con- 
fined to any town. That town seems to me to be the most 
proper for it where the business can be most conveniently, easily, 
and readily done. And as it is apparent from your resolutions 
that you do not think this is a proper town for the court to sit 
in, I shall remove it to Cambridge, against which place no 
objection that I know of can be formed." 2 

To this message the House replied, and reaffirmed their Jun. 19. 
former resolutions. " No time," said they, " can be better 
employed than in the preservation of the rights derived from 
the British constitution, and insisting upon points which, though 
your excellency may consider them as non-essential, we esteem 
its best bulwarks. No treasure can be better expended than • 
in securing that true old English liberty which gives a relish 
to every other enjoyment." 3 Dissatisfied with this reply, the 
governor renewed his demand ; 4 but the House was intracta- Jun. 21 

1 Bernard to Gage, June 12, 19, 3 Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 23, 24 ; 
and 26, 1769; Gage to Hillsborough ; Boston Gazette for June 26, 1769; 
Bancroft, vi. 286. Bradford's State Papers, 172, 173. 

2 Message of Bernard, in Jour. H. 4 Message of Governor Bernard of 
of R. for 1769, 20, and Bradford's June 21, 1769, and Reply of House, 
State Papers, 171, 172 ; Narr. of Bos- in Mass. Gazette for June 29, 1769; 
ton Massacre, 17. The court was Bradford's State Papers, 174, 175; 
adjourned to Cambridge June 16. Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 27. 

Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 21. 


chap, ble ; and as his excellency had informed them that " his majes- 


^^^ ty had been pleased, by his sign manual, to signify his will and 
1769. pleasure that he should repair to England to lay before him 
to 29. the state of the province," * by a unanimous vote, when one 
» hundred and nine members were present, a petition to the king 
was draughted " to remove Sir Francis Bernard forever from 
this government/' 2 and a series of pungent resolves was passed, 
expressive of the discontent of the people on account of the 
revenue acts, and censuring severely the misrepresentations of 
his excellency, in which he " discovered his enmity to the true 
spirit of the British constitution and to the liberties of the col- 
onies," and " struck at the root of some of the most invaluable 
constitutional and charter rights of the province ; " " the per- 
fidy of which," they added, " at the very time he professed 
himself a warm friend to the charter, is altogether unparalleled 
by any in his station, and ought never to be forgotten." 3 

No one can read the papers which proceeded from the House 
at this period without being struck with the contrast between 
them and the papers of former years. Their tone was grad- 
ually becoming more firm. Both branches of the court acted 
in harmony. The conservative party was in a decided minority. 
The influence of Hutchinson was no longer potent. And the 
encouragement which the patriots of Boston had received from 

1 Message of Bernard of June 28, of the liven? of London." Extract of 
1769, in Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 38, letter from London, in Boston News 
85-87 ; Mass. Gazette for June 29, Letter for Nov. 30, 1769. The year 
1769 ; Boston Gazette for Sept. 4, previous, i. e. June 30, 1768, a motion 
1769 ; Bradford, State Papers, 175, was made that a petition be prepared 
176 ; Hutchinson, iii. 238. The fact and sent to the king tor the removal 
of the recall of Bernard was known a of Governor Bernard ; and a commit- 
fortnight earlier. See Mass. Gazette tee was appointed to draught such a 
for June 15, 1769. petition, which was done. Jour. H. 

2 Petition of the House of June 27, of R. for 1768, 94, 95. 

1769, in Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 3 Resolves of the House of June 

36; Mass. Gazette for Sept. 7, 1769 ; 29, 1769, in Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 

Bradford's State Papers, 188-191 ; 56-60 ; Boston News Letter for July 

Hutchinson, iii. 238. This petition, 13. 1769 ; Boston Gazette for July 3 

or " remonstrance," was " a disagreea- and 10,1769; Bradford's State Pa- 

ble thing to the ministry, and was re- pers, 176-180, and Hist, i. 188 et 

ceived with coldness, like the petition seq. ; Hutchinson, hi. App. O. 


abroad, especially the concurrence in their views upon taxa- chap. 
tion expressed by several of the leading statesmen of England, J^^ 
confirmed them in their opinion of the justness of their cause, 1769. 
and inspired them with renewed zeal to resist the encroach- 
ments of arbitrary power. Yet, boldly and manfully as they 
contended for principles, in no case were they transported 
beyond the bounds of equitable moderation ; nor did they fail » 
to acknowledge, while fearlessly asserting and vindicating their 
rights, their " firmest allegiance "to their "rightful sovereign," 
and their readiness " with their lives and fortunes to defend his 
majesty's person, family, crown, and dignity." A people thus 
loyal could neither be terrified by menaces nor seduced by flat- 
tery. To bend their opinions was found to be impossible. * 
They would listen to' reason, but not submit to dictation. 
They had planted themselves firmly on the impregnable posi- 
tion that taxation and representation are inseparably connect- 
ed, and that, as the colonies were not represented in the Par- 
liament of Great Britain, Parliament had no right to impose 
taxes upon them. By this position they were determined to 
abide. For it they were ready to hazard their all. Shall we 
be slaves or freemen ? was the question to be decided. A 
nation is forever enslaved when it has neither an assembly nor 
any other political body to defend its rights against the en- 
croachments of the governing power ; nor can any society 
preserve for a long time the shadow of liberty when it has lost 
the privilege of voting in the sanction and promulgation of its 
fiscal laws. 1 

One more attempt was made by the governor to coerce the 
House, which, like all others, proved ineffectual. Towards the 
close of the session he laid before that body an account of the Ju'iv 6 
expenditures incurred .by quartering his majesty's troops in 

1 Raynal, Hist. Philos. et Polit. la promulgation des loix fiscales. Une 

des deux Indes, vii. 174. "Aucun nation est a jamais esclave, quand elle 

societe n'a conserve une ombre de li- n'a plus d'assemblee ni de corps qui 

berte des qu'une fois elle a perdu le puisse defendre ses droits contre les 

privilege de voter dans la sanction et progres de l'autorite qui la gouveme." 


chap. Boston, that funds might be provided for discharging the 

^^^ same ; l but the House, in their reply, iterated their views " of 

1769._ the sudden introduction of a fleet and army here ; of the un- 

July 15. 

paralleled methods used to procure this armament ; and of the 
indefatigable pains of his excellency, and a few interested per- 
sons, to keep up a standing force in a time of profound peace, 
under the mere pretence of the necessity of such a force to aid 
the civil authority." " Your excellency must therefore excuse 
us," they added, " in this- express declaration, that as we can- 
not, consistently with our honor or interest, and much less with 
the duty we owe our constituents, so we never shall, make 
provision for the purposes you have mentioned." 2 To this 
July 15. message the governor could return but a menacing reply, 
threatening to report their conduct to the king ; and the court 
was prorogued " to the usual time of its meeting for the winter 


» 3 

Thus closed the administration of Francis Bernard. He had 
been governor of the province for nine years, and in that time 
had done more than all other governors combined to inflame 
the jealousy of the ministry, to irritate the people over whom 
\ he ruled, and to strengthen the spirit of discord and disunion. 
■*oiy 31. He embarked for England on the last day of July, 4 regretted 
" by none who were sincerely desirous of the freedom and wel- 
fare of the province, but followed by the honest indignation of 
every intelligent and upright patriot for the misrepresentations 
he had often made of the views and conduct of the oppressed 
citizens, and the arbitrary and unfeeling manner in which he had 
executed the obnoxious laws of the British ministry." His cen- 

1 Messages of Bernard of July 6 and Bradford's State Papers, 184-187; 
12, 1769, in Jour. H. of R. for 1769, Hutchinson, iii. 244-248. 

52, 68 ; Mass. Gazette for July 13, 3 Speech of Governor Bernard of 

1769; Bradford's State Papers, 183, July 15, 1769, in Jour. H. of R. for 

184, and Boston Gazette for July 17, 1769, 84; Mass. Gazette for July 20, 

1769. 1769 ; Bradford's State Papers, 187, 

2 Reply of the House of July 15, 188 ; Bradford's Hist. i. 194-197. 
1769, in Jour. H. of R. for 1769, 80- 4 Mass. Gazette for Aug. 3, 1769. 

83; Mass. Gazette for July 20, 1769; 


sures and reproaches, however, were no longer heeded ; on his chap. 

"V TT 

arrival in England he was treated with but little respect ; and ^^^, 
it was soon evident, even to the most violent advocates of the 1769 
taxation of the colonies, that to his rash and imprudent con- 
duct most of the difficulties which had occurred should be 
imputed. 1 The day of his departure was a day of public re- 
joicing in Boston. " The bells were rung, guns were fired 
from Mr. Hancock's wharf, Liberty Tree was covered with 
flags, and in the evening a great bonfire was made upon Fort 
Hill." 2 

It has been justly remarked that, " had the successor of Gov- 
ernor Bernard been a sincere and firm friend to the rights of 
the province, though, at the same time, duly disposed to main- 
tain the prerogative of the king and the just authority of Par- 
liament, — one who had been disposed to conciliate, rather * 
than to criminate, and to represent favorably, rather than to 
exaggerate, the temper and conduct of the people, — harmony 
would probably have been in a good degree restored to the 
province, and the separation of the colonies from the parent 
state delayed for many years." 3 But, unfortunately for Eng- 
land, Thomas Hutchinson, who succeeded to the chair as chief 
magistrate, was not the man to meet such expectations. Some, 
indeed, were disposed to predict favorably of his administra- 
tion because he was a native of the province, acquainted with 
the feelings of the people, and possessed of abilities which 
might have been exercised effectually in their behalf. Besides, 
he had been long in public business. For ten years he had 

1 Bradford, i. 199. Hutchinson, of with being " wilful and quarrelsome," 

course, takes the part of the governor, and admits that the conviction which 

and attempts to palliate his miscon- prevailed among the people of his 

duct, and screen him from the charge having written home " the most unfa- 

of wilfully infringing upon the liber- vorable statements of their motives 

ties of the people. See Hist. iii. 249, and designs " was " certainly well 

254. Lord Mahon, however, Hist, founded." Comp. Bancroft, vi. 291. 
Eng. v. 235, while he admits him to 2 Hutchinson, iii. 254. 
have been a " man of ability and firm- 3 Bradford, i. 200. 
ness," does not hesitate to charge him 



chap, represented the town of Boston, during three of which he was 
^^/^ speaker of the House. For seventeen years he had been a 
1749 member of the Council, and for a large portion of that time 
1766. was judge of probate. Since 1758 he had been lieutenant 
June' g° vernor 5 an d since 1760 he had been chief justice. He had 
1760. likewise been twice chosen colonial agent, though he never vis- 


ited England in that capacity. He had therefore had " suffi- 
cient opportunity to acquaint himself with the constitution and 
public affairs of the province ; " 1 and, taking the chair with 
such antecedents, he might have filled it with honor to himself 
and with credit to his country, had it not been for his avarice 
and his confirmed duplicity. That he had some good qualities 
no one can question. In cases where his own interests were 
not immediately involved, he had acted under the impulse of a 
genuine patriotism. As a commissioner in adjusting disputed 
boundaries, he had distinguished himself by his zeal, his pru- 
dence, and his integrity. And in the capacity of judge, " though 
he decided political questions with the subserviency of a cour- 
tier, yet, in approving wills, he was considerate towards the 
orphan and the widow ; and he heard private suits with un- 
blemished integrity." 2 But he lived in a peculiar age and 
country. He could not at once be an Englishman and an 
American ; for between the two nations the differences of 
opinion, which had sprung up and increased, were such that no 
one could ^expect to please both parties. If he sided with 

1 Hutchinson's Hist. iii. 75, note, he continued steadfast to those prin- 
and 256 ; Bancroft, vi. 303, 304. ciples which in his former life he pro- 

2 Bancroft, vi. 304. " That Hutch- fessed, and which alone had procured 
inson was amiable and exemplary in him the confidence of the people, he 
some respects, and very unamiable would have lived and died respected 
and unexemplary in others, is a cer- and beloved, and have done honor to 
tain truth ; otherwise he never would his native country. But by renoun- 
have retained so much popularity on cing those principles and that conduct 
the one hand, nor made so pernicious which had made him and all his an- 
a use of it on the other. His behavior cestors respectable, his character is 
in several important departments was now censured by all America," &c. 
with ability and integrity, in cases which Almon's Remembrancer for 1775, 
did not affect his political system ; but 25, 26. 

he bent all his offices to that. Had 


England, he must expect to incur the enmity of America. If chap. 
he sided with America, he must expect to incur the enmity of J^^ 
England. He could not serve both God and Mammon ; and 1769. 
he chose the latter, as more conducive, in his estimation, to his 
worldly advancement, and as more in accordance with his nat- 
ural temperament. 

Yet his professions of regard for the liberties of America 
were often obtrusive ; and while, at one moment, he penned 
despatches rivalling in fervor the speeches of Otis, at the next 
he was careful to take back all by secretly informing particu- 
lar friends that nothing was meant by these effusions — that 
they were chiefly designed for political effect. From his man' 
uscript correspondence, which gives the best clew, to his char- 
acter, it would not be difficult to quote many passages in proof 
of his duplicity. 1 Favorable letters, addressed to persons of • 
influence in England, were written, and sent round to be read 
in the province ; but none of them reached the other side of 
the water. He repudiated in Boston the idea that he sanc- 
tioned the conduct of Bernard j yet in his first message to the 
colonial office he was careful to say, " I have lived in perfect 
harmony" with his excellency. 2 To the friends of America he 
artfully insinuated that they were deceived in their opinion of 
the colonists — that they were unworthy of the favor with 
which they were treated. The abettors of despotism he was 
ready to encourage, by assuring them that their measures were 
necessary and just. 3 Yet all this time he was exceedingly anx- 
ious to conceal the fact that he was laboring to subvert the 
liberties of his country. " Keep secret every thing I write," ■ 
was his language to one ; and to another his words were, 
" Suffer no parts of my letters to transpire." 4 To such a man 

1 This correspondence, in three fo- nail, July 25, 1769 ; Bancroft, vi. 305. 
Ho volumes, is preserved at the State 3 See his MS. Corresp., especially 
House, among the archives in the of- his letters to Bollan, to Jackson, to 
fice of the secretary of state. Pownall, and others, and his letter to 

2 Cooper to Thomas Pownall, Sept. Franklin of July 29, 1769. 

8, 1769 5 Hutchinson to John Pow- 4 Hutchinson to Whateley, Oct. 20, 


chap, was the government of Massachusetts intrusted. Is it surpris- 

^ 'j; ing that his conduct should have met its reward ? He sowed 

1769. the wind, and reaped the whirlwind. Making every allow- 
ance for the virtues he possessed, his faults were so glaring as 
to more than balance them. He was the Harpagon of Amer- 
ica ; and, like Judas of old, who betrayed his master, he be- 
trayed his country for paltry gain. 1 

Before the recall of Governor Bernard the circular letter 
of the Earl of Hillsborough arrived, acquainting the colonies 
that " it was the intention of his majesty's ministers to propose, 
in the next session of Parliament, taking off the duties upon 
glass, paper, and colors, on consideration of such duties having 
been laid contrary to the true principles of commerce, and as- 
suring them that at no time had they entertained any design 
to propose to Parliament to lay any further taxes on America 
for the purpose of raising a revenue." 2 This letter, however, 
July 26. did not satisfy the merchants of Boston ; for they argued, and 
justly, that if the tax on glass and paper was " contrary to the 
true principles of commerce," the tax on tea must be equally 
so. Hence they voted unanimously that this repeal was a 
mere pretence, and that the duty on tea was retained to save 
the " right " of taxing. At once, therefore, they renewed the 
obligation, formerly made, to import no more goods from Eng- 

1769, to I. Mauduit, Oct. 27, 1769, thority of Great Britain over the col- 

and to J. Pownall, July 27, 1770, and onies. But I can take upon me to 

Nov. 26, 1773. assure you, notwithstanding insinua- 

1 For a defence of the character tions to the contrary from men of 
of Hutchinson, from the pen of Rev. factious and seditious views, that his 
George E. Ellis, see the Christian Ex- majesty's present administration have 
aminer for Nov. 1854, 403 et seq. at no time entertained a design to 

2 Hillsborough to the Governor of propose to Parliament to lay any fur- 
Connecticut, May 13, 1769, in Trum- ther taxes upon America for the pur- 
bull MSS. ii. 207 ; Grahame, ii. 451 ; pose of raising a revenue; and it is at 
Belsham's George III. i. 246, 247 ; present their intention, in the next 
Hutchinson, iii. 252. " The whole le- session of Parliament, to take off the 
gislature," wrote Hillsborough, " con- duties upon glass and colors, upon con- 
cur in the opinion adopted by his sideration of such duties being laid 
majesty's servants, that no measures contrary to the true principles of corn- 
ought to be taken which can in any merce." See the reply of Pitkin, in 
way derogate from the legislative au- Trumbull MSS. ii. 233. 


land, a few specified articles only excepted, unless the revenue chap. 
laws should be fully repealed ; the inhabitants of the town J^^_ 
were invited to an agreement to purchase nothing from those 1769. 
who~ violated this engagement ; the names of recusant im- 
porters were to be published ; and a committee was appointed 
to consider the acts of trade, and to prepare a statement 
of the embarrassments to which commerce was subjected 
thereby. 1 

In accordance with these proceedings, the first step taken 
was to publish in the newspapers the names of those who per- Aug.n. 
sisted in importing goods contrary to agreement, " that there 
might be the concurrence of every person upon the continent in 
rendering their base and dangerous designs abortive ; " 2 and, 
shortly after, two of the principal merchants, whose ship had Aug.2a 
recently arrived, were waited upon by the committee, and com- 
pelled to subscribe an engagement to sell none of their goods 
until the time fixed upon for non-importation had expired. 3 
Factors, to whom goods had been consigned, were likewise 
compelled to reship them to their principals in England. And 
there was a general determination that the agreement should 
be complied with, and that those who were refractory should 
be dealt with summarily to reduce them to obedience. 4 

The son of Bernard and two sons of Hutchinson were 
among the few who refused to submit to these measures ; and, 
at a public meeting in Faneuil Hall, Hancock proposed to send Aug. 
for the latter, to reprove them for their stubbornness — hint- 
ing, what was true, that their father was himself " a partner 
with them in their late extraordinary importations of tea." 
But a more prudent course was adopted ; and, as the best 
means of coercion, a paper was circulated from house to house, 

1 Mass. Gazette for July 27, 1769 ; 2 Hutchinson, iii. 258. 
Boston Gazette for July 31, 1769; 3 Boston News Letter for Aug. 31, 

Observ. on several Acts of Pari., pub. 1769 ; Hutchinson, iii. 258. 
by the Merchants of Boston, 1769 ; 4 Hutchinson to Bernard, Oct. 19, 

Hutchinson, iii. 252, 253 ; Grahame, 1769 ; Hutchinson's Hist, iii 258. 
ii. 452. 


chap, which nearly every one signed, agreeing not to purchase of 
3^ them until they yielded. 1 
1769. The anniversary of the outbreak against the stamp act was 

Aug. 14 

celebrated this year with great parade. At Dorchester, John 
Adams " dined with three hundred and fifty Sons of Liberty at 
Robinson's, the sign of the Liberty Tree." Two tables were 
" laid in the open field, by the barn, with between three and 
four hundred plates, and an awning of sailcloth over head ; " 
and, though the rain poured without, which made " some abate- 
ment of their pleasures," the day was for the most part agreea- 
bly spent. " Mr. Dickinson, the Farmer's brother, and Mr. 
Reed, the secretary of New Jersey," were there, as was also 
Balch, the wit of the province, who diverted the audience with 
his wonderful mimicry. The " Liberty Song " was sung as a 
duet ; and the whole company joined in the chorus. The 
toasts which were drunk were appropriate and spirited ; and 
■* " strong halters, firm blocks, and sharp axes, to such as deserve 
either," were the words of the forty-fifth. In the afternoon, 
between four and five, the company broke up ; the " carriages 
were got ready," and a procession of a mile and a half in 
length was formed, which entered the town before dark, 
marched round the State House, and then dispersed. " Otis 
and Samuel Adams," wrote the kinsman of the latter, " are 
politic in promoting these festivals ; for they tinge the minds 
of the people, they impregnate them with the sentiments of 
liberty ; they render the people fond of their leaders in the 
cause, and averse and bitter against all opposers." " To the 
honor of the Sons," he adds, " I did not see one person intox- 
icated, or near it." 2 

Copies of letters from public officers to the ministry, taken 
by Beckford, had been published in Boston. 3 Otis was cen- 

1 Boston Gazette for Aug. 14 and ii. 218; Boston Gazette for Aug. 21, 
Sept. 4, 1769; Hutchinson to Ber- 1769; Bancroft, vi. 309. 

nard, Aug. 8, 1769. 3 Hutchinson to Ma uduit, April 16, 

2 John Adams's Diary, in Works, 1769. Authentic copies of letters, 


sured in these letters as a " demagogue ; n and, as the warmth chap 
of his zeal in the cause of liberty had sensibly wrought upon ,3^ 
his susceptible nerves, he was nearly beside himself with anger. 1769. 
In this sad condition he provoked an affray with Robinson, Sept. 5. 
one of the revenue officers, at the British Coffee House, on 
King, now State, Street, and was severely wounded by a blow 
on the head. The sympathy that was felt for him, and the 
odium with which the conduct of the officers was viewed, 
tinged this transaction with a tragical hue, and quarrels be- 
tween the people and the officers increased. 1 The merchants 
of Boston were likewise again aroused to action by letters from 
New York, inviting them to extend indefinitely the non-impor- 
tation agreement ; and, by the influence of Molineux, Samuel Oct. 17. 
Adams, and William Cooper, they were readily induced to 
comply with this request. 2 The next day the town published Oct. 18 
its " Appeal to the World," or " vindication from the asper- 
sions " of Bernard and others. 3 The tone of this appeal was 
fearless, yet candid ; but Hutchinson, who felt that his own 

memorials, &c, written by Bernard, and for his country ; many others 

Hood, and the commissioners to the mourn over him with tears in their 

ministry, were transmitted to the se- eyes." 

lectmen of Boston by Bollan, and read 2 Hutchinson to , Oct. 17, 

at a town meeting, Oct. 4. Boston 1769; Dalrvmple to Gage, Oct. 22, 

News Letter for Oct. 5, 1769. 1769 ; Bancroft, vi. 311. 

1 Mass. Gazette for Sept. 7, 11, and 3 The title of this document was, 

14, 1769 ; Boston Gazette for Sept. 11 "An Appeal to the World, or a Vin- 

and 18, 1769 ; Boston News Letter dication of the Town of Boston from 

for Sept. 21, 1769; Tudor's Life of many False and Malicious Aspersions 

Otis, 362 ; Snow's Hist, of Boston, contained in certain Letters and Me- 

277; Bancroft, vi. 310. Otis sued morials written by Governor Bernard, 

Robinson for the injuries he had re- General Gage, Commodore Hood, the 

ceived, and obtained a verdict for Commissioners of the American Board 

£2000 damages ; but on receiving a of Customs, and others, and by them 

suitable apology from the defendant, respectively transmitted to the British 

he remitted the fine. That nervous Ministry. Published by Order of the 

irritability, which ended in insanity, Town. Printed and sold by Edes and 

was at this time fast increasing upon Gill, in Queen Street, Boston, 1769," 

the once noble patriot. " Otis," writes pp. 34. This appeal was most proba- 

John Adams, Diary, in Works, ii. 226, bly written by Samuel Adams, as large 

227, "is in confusion yet; he loses fragments of the draught in his hand- 

himself ; he rambles and wanders like writing are still in existence. Comp. 

a ship without a helm. ... I Boston News Letter for Oct. 26, 1769, 

fear, I tremble, I mourn for the man and Boston Gazette for Oct. 30, 1769. 


chap, conduct was rebuked in it, endeavored to wipe off the unfavor- 
J^^ able impressions it might produce in England by renewing his 
1769. charges against the people ; and, by secret despatches, he sent 
word to Grenville, to Jenkinson, and to Hillsborough that 
* " all would be set right if Parliament, within the first week 
of its session, would change the municipal government of Bos- 
ton, incapacitate its patriots to hold any public office, and 
restore the vigor of authority by decisive action." x At the 
same time, to prepare for the inaction of Parliament, he sent 
orders for a large supply of teas for the shop of his sons, and 
instructed his correspondents how to forward them so as to 
elude the vigilance of the committees of Boston. 2 

Hitherto the conduct of the people had been decorous. But, 
considering the provocations they were constantly receiving, 
not only from the soldiers, but from refractory merchants and 
headstrong loyalists, they should not be too sharply censured 
if, in a few cases, they departed from their usual course, and 
expressed their feelings by peculiar and decisive marks of dis- 
Oct. 28. pleasure. One such instance occurred at this time, when a 
" great number of people," a " little after sunset," seized " an 
informer against the breaches of the acts, of trade," and, having 
stripped him of a " great part of his clothing," and " tarred 
and feathered him upon his naked body," " carted him about 
the town, requiring the inhabitants to place lights in their 
windows, and terrifying them with confused noise, tumult, and 
uproar." 3 Mein, a printer, whose publications had given 
offence, was likewise assaulted on King Street, and in the 
scuffle which ensued pistols were fired. For protection he fled 
to the main guard ; but the people followed, and insisted upon 

1 Hutchinson to Bernard, Oct. 19, Oct. 30, in Mass. Gazette for Nov. 2, 
to "Whateley, Oct. 20, and to Pownall, 1769 ; Dalrymple to Gage, Oct. 29, 
Oct. 23, 1769 ; Grenville Corresp. iv. 1769 ; Hutchinson to Bernard, Oct. 
486; Bancroft, vi. 313. 30, and to Hillsborough, Oct. 31, 

2 Hutchinson to W. Palmer, Oct. 1769 ,• Boston Gazette for Nov. 6, 
5 and 24, 1769. 1769. 

Proclamation of Hutchinson, of 


his being delivered up to them. He finally escaped in disguise, chap. 
and absconded from the town. 1 The soldiers, in the mean J^^, 
time, were " rendered desperate ; " and a captain of the twenty- 1769. 
ninth regiment said to his men, " If they touch you, run them 
through the bodies." 2 For this speech he was indicted ; and, 
shortly after, the grand jury for the county of Suffolk found a Nov. 
true bill against Gage and others for " slandering the town of 
Boston." 3 The troops were rapidly becoming " the objects of 
the contempt even of women and children ; " and the position 
in which they were placed, to persons of their temper, was 
exceedingly humiliating. 4 

Hutchinson was appalled by the spirit of the people. To 
his mind it was evident that, " without a further exertion of * 
power and authority from the kingdom, acts of Parliament for 
raising money by taxes from the inhabitants of the colonies 
could never be carried into execution." " The people," says 
he, " were determined to resist them. There was no power, 
legislative or executive, within the colonies, which would exert 
itself in checking this resistance. A military force was of no 
sort of use. Without the direction of a civil magistrate, it 
remained perfectly inactive in all times of tumult and riot." 5 

Early in January Parliament met, and the American ques- 1770. 

Jan. 9. 

tion was a topic of debate. Chatham, who for more than two 
years had been unable to take part in the transaction of busi- 
ness, 6 had so far recovered as to venture to appear in the 
House of Lords ; and curiosity was excited to hear what he 
would say. The king, in his speech, with the " misery of a 

1 Hutchinson, iii. 258-260. Comp. cihation, which he had long anxiously 
Boston News Letter for Aug. 31, sought, with his brother-in-law, Lord 
1769, and Mass. Gazette for Sept. 7, Temple, whom he had ever loved and 
1769. esteemed, but whose friendship, in a 

2 Bancroft, vi. 314. moment of political elation, he had 

3 Hutchinson, hi. 262, 263 ; Ban- unhappily lost. This event, in con- 
croft, vi. 314. junction with others, is supposed to 

4 S. Adams to De Berdt, Nov. 6 r have had a favorable influence upon 
1769 ; Hutchinson, hi. 263. his health. Political Register for Nov. 

5 Hist. iii. 263. 25, 1768 ; Belsham's George III. i. 

6 He had recently effected a recon- 255 ; Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 244. 
VOL. II. 26 


chap, ruined grazier rather than with the dignity of an English sov- 
J^_ ereign," found himself obliged, before proceeding to other mat- 
1770. ters, to announce to the guardians of the public welfare that 
" the distemper among the horned cattle had lately broken 
out in the kingdom, notwithstanding every precaution that had 
been used for preventing the infection from foreign parts.'' 
This reference in itself appeared so ridiculous that it excited 
the merriment of the witlings of the court ; and the whole ses- 
sion, in consequence, was named " the horned cattle ses- 
sion." x But it was perhaps well that there was something to 
excite good humor ; for, when graver questions came* to be 
discussed, there was need of such humor to temper the heated 
passions of the disputants. 

The speech of Pitt, on the motion for an address to the king, 
was marked with his wonted intellectual vigor. To his enemies 
he seemed as one risen from the dead, armed with supernatural 
power to scatter confusion and dismay in their camp. His 
friends were reminded of the fable of the swan, whose latest 
notes are said to be the sweetest. 2 Every one hung on his 
lips with attention ; and the House of Lords was hushed to 
silence. Commencing with a compliment to the Duke of An- 
caster, the mover of the address, and acknowledging his per- 
sonal obligations to the king, he proceeded to bewail the 
unsatisfactory state of foreign affairs, which he principally 
ascribed to the manner in which the treaty of Paris was con- 
cluded. But, important as were these matters, there were 
others of greater consequence which demanded attention — 
the measures which had led to the estrangement of the colo- 

1 Debates in Pari. v. 202 ; Lord pressed, resumed their pristine force 
Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 246 ; Boston and vigor ; and it is remarkable that, 
News Letter for March 22, 1770. from this time to the termination of 
The address of the Lords and Com- his life, they shone out with a bright- 
mons in reply may be seen in the ness and lustre in no respect inferior 
News Letter for April 6, 1770. f to that which they displayed in the 

2 " With his health," says Bels^im, full meridian of his long and glorious 
George III. i. 255, " his intellectual career." See also Lord Mahon's Hist. 
faculties, so long clouded and op- 


onies. " I own," said he, " my natural partiality to America, chap 
and am inclined to make allowance for all excesses. The peo- J^^ 
pie of the colonies should be treated with tenderness. Their 1770. 
ebullitions of liberty, which have broken out upon the skin, are 
a sign, if not of perfect health, at least of a vigorous constitu- 
tion, and must not be driven in too suddenly, lest they strike 
to the heart. With these views, I object to the word ' unwar- 
rantable ' in the address. It is passing sentence without hear- 
ing the cause or knowing the facts. What I have heard of 
the combinations in America, and of their success in supplying 
themselves with goods of their own manufacture, has indeed 
alarmed me for the commercial interests of the mother coun- 
try ; but I cannot conceive in what sense they can be called 
illegal, much less how a declaration of this house can remove 
the evil. They may be dangerous ; and I could wish to have 
this word substituted for unwarrantable. 

" The discontent of two millions of people deserves consider- » 
ation, and its foundation should be removed. But I shall give 
my opinion more fully on this subject when authentic informa- 
tion shall be laid before the house. For the present I will 
only say that we should be cautious how we invade the liber- 
ties of any part of our fellow-subjects, however remote in sit- 
uation or unable to make resistance. Liberty is a plant that * 
deserves to be cherished. I love the tree, and wish well to 
its branches, wherever they are. Like the vine in the Scrip- 
tures, it has spread from east to west, has embraced whole 
nations with its branches, and sheltered them under its leaves. 
The Americans have purchased their liberty at a dear rate ; 
since they quitted their native country, and went in search 
of freedom to a desert." 1 

1 Debates in Pari. v. 127-131; son, and says, "The report of the 

Johnson to Trumbull, Jan. 10, 1770, American on America is the safest 

in Bancroft, vi. 323 ; Lord Mahon's guide. The American understood the 

Hist. Eng. v. 246-248 ; Belsham's figure of the vine to refer to liberty in 

George III. i. 256. Bancroft gives America. Chatham never meant to say 

the preference to the sketch of John- it had embraced whole nations." I see 


Camden, who had once resisted oppressing the colonies, but 
who afterwards retracted, was aroused by this speech, and, 
1770. rising from the woolsack, pledged himself thenceforth to take 
a nobler course. " I have suffered myself too long," said he, 
" to be trammelled by the ministers of his majesty. For some 
time I have beheld with silent indignation their arbitrary 
measures. I have often drooped and hung down my head in 
council, and disapproved by my looks those steps which I 
knew my avowed opposition could not prevent. I will do so 
no longer, but openly and boldly speak my sentiments. I now 
proclaim to the world that I entirely coincide in the opinion 
expressed by my noble friend, whose presence reanimates us, 
touching this illegal and unconstitutional vote." 1 

The debate in the House of Commons was equally spirited ; 
and, on the article of the American affairs, the ministry were 
sharply treated, and condemned for having done every thing 
without success. In reality, it was said, they had done very 
little — and that little injudiciously, weakly, and inconsistently. 
Last year the king had declared America in actual rebellion. 
The House had desired him to send for the rebels, to be tried 
in England. The Americans had resolved this vote to be ille- 
gal and unconstitutional ; yet no notice had been taken of 
their behavior. This had rendered the resolutions of Parlia- 
ment ridiculous and contemptible. Barre, as usual, appeared 
as the defender of the colonies. " The people of England," 
said he, " know, the people of Ireland know, and the American 
people feel, that the iron hand of ministerial despotism is lifted 
up against them ; but it is not less formidable against the 
prince than against the people." " The trumpeters of sedi- 
tion," was the reply of Lord North, " have produced the disaf- 

no reason, however, to doubt the sub- Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 248. 

stantial correctness of the general re- This speech of Camden had immediate 

ports. The American is as likely to reference to the vote incapacitating 

have Americanized the speech as the Wilkes from holding a seat in the 

Englishman to have Anglicized it. House of Commons ; but the pledge 

1 Debates in Pari. v. 141, 142 j was general. 


fection. The drunken ragamuffins of a vociferous mob are chap. 
exalted into equal importance with men of judgment, of mor- v 3^L 
als, and of property. I can never acquiesce in the absurd 1770. 
opinion that all men are equal. The contest in America, 
which at first might have been easily ended, is now for no less 
than sovereignty on one side and independence on the other." x 

From the temper of both Houses it was evident that nothing 
would be immediately done tending to the relief of the colo- 
nies. Changes in the ministry followed ; the new tory party Jan. 22 
took possession of the cabinet ; difficulties increased ; and 
political grievances remained unredressed. " The ship of 
state," said Barre, " tossed on a stormy sea, is scudding under 
a jury mast, and hangs out signals for pilots from the other 
side." "The pilots on board," was the reply of Lord North, 
" are capable of conducting her into port." How capable they 
were time soon proved. 

The legislature of Massachusetts was to meet in January ; Jan. 10. 
but just as the members were preparing for their journey to 
the metropolis, Hutchinson prorogued the court to the middle 
of March. 3 The reason assigned for this step was an arbitrary 
instruction from the Earl of Hillsborough, the validity of which 
Samuel Adams denied. 4 The non-importation agreement had 
expired by limitation ; and the sons of Hutchinson, " supposing Jan. l. 
they had a right to be repossessed of their goods and to dis- 
pose of them as they thought fit," broke the padlock which the 
committee had placed on their warehouse, and secretly made 
sales of the teas deposited there, which had advanced in value 
one hundred per cent. 5 A meeting of merchants was imme- Jan. 16, 

1 Debates in Pari. v. 203, 204 ; Lord North, in Cavendish Debates, i. 
Bancroft, vi. 322. 488. The sons of Hutchinson, with 

2 Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 250 Theophilus Lillie and others, entered 
-253 ; Bancroft, vi. 325-327. into an agreement in October, 1769, 

3 Hutchinson to Bernard, Jan. 10, to abide by the resolutions of the mer- 
1770 ; Jour. H. of E. for 1770, 90. chants, and to deliver up the tea they 

4 Hillsborough to Hutchinson, Nov. had imported. Boston News Letter 
4, 1769 ; Vindex, in Boston Gazette for Oct. 5, 1769. See also ibid, for 
for Jan. 8, 1770 ; Bancroft, vi. 329. Dec. 14, 1769, and Jan. 4, 1770, for 

6 Hutchinson's Hist. iii. 266, 267 j other names. 


chap, diately called, and the committee demanded the restoration of 
^j^ the goods ; but compliance was refused. The whole body then 
1770. went to Hutchinson's house, and repeated the demand • but, 
instead of opening his doors to them, a window was thrown 
up, at which his honor appeared, " warned them of the conse- 
quences of their illegal, riotous proceedings, and required them 
to disperse." 1 " We come," was the reply, " to treat with 
your sons, who have violated their contract, to which their 
honor was pledged." " A contract without a valuable consid- 
eration is not valid in law," was the rejoinder. Yet the chief 
magistrate was perplexed ; and early the next day, after con- 
sulting with Phillips, the moderator of the meeting, he consent- 
ed to return the goods which were unsold, and to make com- 
pensation for the rest. But no sooner had he entered into this 
agreement than he began to " repent," and, according to his 
own statement, " felt more trouble and distress from this error 
in his public trust than he had done from the loss and damage 
to his private fortune, when his house and great part of his 
property were destroyed." 2 The friends of Bernard censured 
him for his cowardice, said it " was as good a time as any to 
have called out the troops," and that it was best to " bring mat- 
ters to extremities." Dalrymple was ready, and his men were 
armed ; but no orders were given. 

Yet the peace of the town was not restored ; and meetings 
were held from day to day. Hutchinson felt the embarrass- 
ment of his position, and the Council was convened, and the 
members were urged to join in quieting the people ; but they 
declined interfering. The justices were then called upon ; but 
they, too, declined, saying that, " though these assemblies might 
be deemed unwarrantable, there were times when irregularities 
could not be restrained ; and this was a time when the minds 
of the people were greatly agitated and disturbed from a sense 

1 Hutchinson to Hillsborough, Jan. News Letter for Jan. 25, 1770. 
24, 1770, and Hist. iii. 267 ; Cooper 2 Hist. iii. 267. 
to Pownall, Jan. 30, 1770; Boston 


of danger to their just rights and liberties." The sheriff was chap. 
then sent to the adjourned meeting, which was in session, with J^^ 
a paper requiring them, in his majesty's name, to disperse ; but, 1770. 
though the paper was read, the meeting unanimously voted 
that their assembly was warranted by law, and that they were 
determined " to keep consciences void of offence towards God 
and towards man." Hutchinson saw that the answer which 
was sent to him was in the handwriting of Hancock ; and he 
preserved the autograph as evidence against him, should he 
ever be tried for treason. 1 

The next step of the meeting was to proscribe by name four 
persons who had begun to sell contrary to agreement ; and 
they were declared enemies to their country, who should be 
treated as such, " by withholding, not only all commercial deal- 
ing, but every act and office of common civility." 2 To give 
greater effect to this proscription, posts were planted before the 
doors of the recusants, with a hand affixed pointing towards 
them in derision. One of these posts was placed before the 
door of Theophilus Lillie ; and Richardson, a neighbor and 
an informer, endeavored to persuade some teamsters from the 
country, who were passing by, to break it down by driving 
against it the wheels of their carts. A crowd soon gathered ; Feb. 22. 
Richardson was chased home ; his house was surrounded ; and 
bricks and stones were thrown at the windows. To repel the 
assailants, a random shot was fired among them ; and a lad of 
eleven or twelve years of age — the son of a poor German — 

1 Boston News Letter for Feb. 1, 2 Hutchinson, iii. 268. On the 4th 

1770 ; Hutchinson to Hillsborough, of October, 1769, at a town meeting, 

Feb. 28, 1770, and Hist. iii. 267, 268 ; the names of several violators of the 

Bancroft, vi. 33 1. " While these com- agreement were ordered to be entered 

binations are tolerated," wrote Hutch- on the records, " that posterity may 

inson to Bernard, Feb. 28, 1770, "gov- know who those persons were that 

ernment can never be restored. They preferred their little private advantage 

never will be suppressed by any pow- to the common interests of all the col- 

er within themselves ; for both the onies in a point of the greatest impor- 

egislative and executive power join tance." Boston News Letter for Oct 

with the body of the people in the 5, 1769. 
combination." Almon's Remembr. 
for 1775, 45. 


chap, was mortally wounded. The excitement became intense ; and 
^^^ the murderer was seized and cast into prison. 1 
1770. The funeral of the lad was attended by " all the friends of 

Feb. 26. 

' liberty," and the coffin was covered with appropriate inscrip- 
tions. 2 Five hundred children walked in couples in front of 
the bier ; six of his playmates held the pall ; his relatives fol- 
lowed ; after them came thirteen hundred inhabitants on foot ; 
and chaises and chariots closed the procession. A more impos- 
ing spectacle had seldom been witnessed ; and, as the long 
cortege moved on from Liberty Tree to the " burying place," 
the impression which it made upon the minds of all was deep 
and lasting. The first blood had been shed ; the first victim 
had fallen. And the thoughtful asked, " Where will this 
.The murder of Snider — for such was the lad's name — was 
Ma 2. the prelude to scenes of greater violence ; and, early in March, 
an affray occurred in which the soldiery were engaged. One 
of their number, a private in the twenty-ninth regiment, went 
to Gray's ropewalk, and demanded satisfaction for an insult 
he had received, but was repulsed. He then challenged any 
one to turn out and fight him ; his challenge was accepted, and 
he was beaten. Several of his companions joined him, but were 
driven off. A still larger number next entered the field, with 
clubs and cutlasses ; but they, too, were defeated. The pro- 
prietor of the works then interposed, and for that day further 
disturbance was prevented. 3 

The defeated soldiers, feeling that the honor of their regi- 
ment was involved, nourished their anger through Saturday 

1 Hutchinson to Bernard, Feb. 28, 3 Postscript to Boston News Letter 
1770, to Hillsborough, Feb. 28,1770, for March 8, 1770; Testimony of 
and Hist. iii. 269 ; Snow's Hist. Bos- Nicholas Ferriter, in Trial, &c. 23, 
ton, 278. and of Ferriter, Richardson, Fisher, 

2 On the foot of the coffin were the and Hill, in Narr. of Boston Massa- 
words, " Latet anguis in herba ; " on ere, 39, 40. Gray's ropewalk was 
the sides, " Hard lateri lethalis arun- near Green's barracks, in Atkinson 
do ; " and on the head, " Innocentia Street. Narr. Boston Massacre, 21, 
nusquam tuta." Snow's Boston, 279. note, ed. 1849. 


and Sunday, and on Monday were ready to revenge the affront chap 
tliey had received. One of their number was heard to say, 32L 
some days before, " I will never miss an opportunity of firing 1770. 
upon the inhabitants. I have wanted such an opportunity 
ever since I landed." l And there can be little doubt that his 
companions cherished the same feelings. For had they not all 
been subjected for a long time to derision and contempt ? Had 
not their temper been soured by insults ? And had not their 
passions been imbittered by strife ? 2 True, such provocations, 
however great, could not justify them in assuming the offen- 
sive ; nor did they warrant a resort to violence for redress. 
Yet the conduct of those who fanned the embers of strife, and 
who sought to provoke a quarrel with the troops, was certainly 
culpable. " The cause of liberty/ 7 says Dickinson, in one of , 
his letters, " is a cause of too much dignity to be sullied by 
turbulence and tumult. It ought to be maintained in a manner 
suitable to her nature. Those who engage in it should breathe 
a sedate, yet fervent spirit, animating them to actions of pru- 
dence, justice, modesty, bravery, humanity, and magnanimity." 3 
There are always some, however, over whom such counsels, 
though well meant, have very little influence ; and a distinc- 
tion should be made between the conduct of the prudent, who 
deprecate violence, and of the headstrong, who can brook no 
restraint. It is generally the latter who, in all revolutions, 
have precipitated the struggle ; and to their rashness the effu- 
sion of blood must be attributed. 

The narrative of the massacre of the fifth of March is a 

1 Testimony of Hemmingway, in but flashed indignant fire." See also 
Trial, &c. 22/ed. 1807. J. Adams's Diary, in Works, ii. 229. 

2 See Quincy's speech at their trial. " Endeavors had been systematically 
" No room was left for cordiality and pursued for many months, by certain 
friendship. Discontent was seated on busy characters, to excite quarrels, 
almost every brow. Instead of that rencounters, and combats, single or 
hospitality that he thought himself compound, in the night, between the 
entitled to, scorn, contempt, and silent inhabitants of the lower class and the 
murmurs were his reception. Almost soldiers, and at all risks to enkindle 
every countenance lowered Math a dis- an immortal hatred between them." 
contented gloom, and scarce an eye 3 Farmer's Letters. 


chap, melancholy proof of the evils which spring from the wild 
> J^^ turbulence of human passions. The soldiers had prepared 
1770. for an assault before the evening, by arming themselves 
with bludgeons, 1 and warning their friends to tarry at home. 2 
How far the officers were aware of these proceedings it is 
difficult to say. That they must have had some cognizance of 
what was passing can hardly be doubted, unless they were 
uncommonly devoid of intelligence. Nor do they seem to have 
taken the necessary precautions to prevent bloodshed by con- 
fining their men in the barracks at the earliest hour prescribed 
by military rule. A laxness of discipline prevailed ; and the 
troops were left to do much as they pleased. 

During the day there had been a fall of snow ; but as night 
drew on the weather cleared, and the moon, which was in its 
first quarter, shone brightly upon the earth. 3 At an early 
hour " clusters of the inhabitants were observed in different 
quarters of the town," and " parties of soldiers were driving 
about the streets, as if the one and the other had something 
more than ordinary upon their minds." 4 A crowd of boys 
gathered ; and the soldiers, as they hurried along, struck at 
the inhabitants indiscriminately with sticks and cutlasses. 5 A 
few minutes after nine o'clock, four young men came down 
Cornhill towards Dock Square; 6 and, in passing the narrow 
alley leading to Murray's barracks, 7 they were attacked by a 
soldier, who stood in the alley with a huge broadsword in his 

1 Deposition of John Fisher, in 3 R. T. Paine, at the trial of the 
Boston Narr. 40 ; S. Adams, in Bos- soldiers. 

ton Gazette for Dec. 31, 1770 ; Post- 4 Hutchinson, iii. 271. 

script to Boston News Letter for 5 Narr. of Boston Massacre, and 

March 8, 1770. " 'Tis said many of Trial, &c, Testimony of Bass. 

the 29th regiment have armed them- 6 Boston Evening Post for March 

selves with bludgeons of about two 12,1770. The names of these young 

feet long, a round handle, and the body men were Edward Archbald, Francis 

of the club three square." Archbald, William Merchant, and 

2 S. Adams, in Boston Gazette for John Leech. 

Dec. 24, 1770 ; Testimony of Mary 7 Known as Boylston's Alley. 

Brailsford, Mary Thayer, Asa Cope- Snow's Boston, 279. 
land, and Matthew Adams, in Narr. 
&c. 23, 42, 43, 46. 


hand, whiclrhe was brandishing and striking against the walls chap. 
of the buildings. The youths returned the blow ; and an XIL 
Irishman, who was in company with the soldier, ran to the 1770. 
barracks for assistance. Two men came, armed with shovel 
and tongs ; but they were driven back. A moment after, ten 
or twelve soldiers, armed with clubs, cutlasses, and bayonets, 
tumultuously rushed out, and a fray ensued, in which blows 
were exchanged. 1 Presently a voice cried, " Town born, turn 
out ! " and the cry was repeated, until a large concourse filled 
the streets. 2 The cry of " Fire ! " was likewise raised, and the 
bells were rung. More of "the town's people" came from 
towards the market, and " there was a squabble and a noise 
between them and the officers." 3 The tumult increased ; and 
from every quarter citizens hurried to the scene of strife. 
The rage of the soldiers was fast becoming ungovernable ; 
and, as a lad came running along, with his hand to his head, 
crying that " he was killed," one of the officers " damned him 
for a little rascal," and a soldier hastened from the barrack 
gate with his musket, and kneeling on one knee, with his face 
towards the alley, shouted, " Damn your blood, I will make a 
lane through you all." A lieutenant interposed in season to 
prevent his firing, and pushed him towards the barrack ; and 
when he. or an associate, came forth and renewed his threats, 
he was a second time driven back, and his musket was taken 
from him. 4 

A few prominent citizens had by this time ventured into the 
streets ; and one of these requested the officers to confine the 

1 Testimony of Coburn, Polley, At- have encouraged the soldiers to attack 
wood, and Archbald, in Narr. &c. 53- the people by shouting, " Turn out ! and 

55, 67. I will stand by you. Kill them ! stick 

2 Testimony of Dr. Hirons, in Tri- them ! knock them down ! Run your 
al, &c. 53. bayonets through them ! " There is, 

3 Testimony of Dr. Hirons, in Tri- however, some discrepancy in the tes- 
al, &c. 54. timony relative to his conduct, and I 

4 Testimony of Dr. Hirons, Trial, have preferred not to bring the charge 
&c. 54, and of Kirkwood, in Narr. &c. directly against him. Comp. Narr. 

56. Ensign Maul, according to the &c. 56. 
testimony of Kirkwood, is said to 


chap, soldiers to the barracks. This they promised to do ; upon 
J^^, which the person who had made the request advised the people 
1770. to disperse, and the cry was circulated, " Home ! home ! " But 
some shouted, " Hurrah for the main guard! there is the nest! n 
and thither they hastened. 1 The station of the main guard 
was at the head of King, now State, Street, opposite the door 
on the south side of the town house ; and, as the crowd dis- 
persed, some ran up Cornhill, others up Crooked, now Wilson's, 
Lane, and others up Royal Exchange Lane, now Exchange 
Street. 2 A sentinel was stationed at the door of the Custom 
House, which was at the corner of Exchange Lane ; and, as 
the crowd drew near, the boys in the street pelted the sentinel 
with snowballs. 3 Immediately he loaded his musket, and, with 
bayonet fixed, pushed at the boys, and commanded them to 
stand off. 4 Captain Goldfinch passed by ; and a barber's lad 
shouted, " There goes a mean fellow, who has not paid my mas- 
ter for dressing his hair ; " upon which the sentinel left his post 
and struck the lad, who staggered, and cried from the pain of 
the blow. 5 Soon ten or twelve soldiers, armed with cutlasses, 
&c, came rushing through Silsby's Alley, or Crooked Lane, 
crying, " Where are your Sons of Liberty ? Where are the 
cowards ? Knock them down." 6 " Do you intend to murder 
the people ? " was asked by Atwood. " Yes, by God ! — root 
and branch," was the reply ; and they struck at him, and at 
other citizens, in their doorways, as they passed, compelling 
them to retire. 7 Nearly at the same time another party of 
soldiers, twelve or fifteen in number, came from the southward, 

1 Testimony of Palmes, in Narr. on, in Narr. &c. 48, 50, and of Cap- 
&c. 70, and of Mitchelson and Hirons, tain Goldfinch and Davis, in Trial, 
in Trial, &c. 48, 53, 54. &c. 56. 

2 SnowVBoston, 280. 6 Testimony of Tyler, Le Baron, 

3 Testimony of Usher, in Narr. &c. Broaders, and Drowne, in Narr. &c. 
86. 48, 50, 58, 83. 

4 Testimony of Usher, in Narr. &o. 7 Testimony of Atwood, in Narr. 
86. &c. 55. 

Testimony of Tyler and Le Bar- 


into King Street, and passed through Cornhill towards Mur- chap 
raj's barracks. 1 s32l 

Thirty or forty boys had by this time assembled in King 1770. 
Street ; and, more from bravado than from malice, it would 
seem, they commenced annoying the sentinel, and dared him to 
fire. Provoked by their conduct, he knocked at the door of 
the custom house, and asked for assistance. The boys pressed 
round him, shouting, " Fire, and be damned ! The lobster 
dares not fire." 2 " Stand off! " he cried ; and a servant ran 
to the guard house, which was near by, saying, " They are kill- 
ing the sentinel ; turn out the guard." 3 At the command of 
Preston, seven or eight soldiers were detached, and, headed by 
a corporal, and followed by Preston, sword in hand, they were 
hastily marched and posted in a semicircle between the custom 
house door and the west corner of the building, where the 
sentry box stood. 4 No sooner were they thus placed than 
snowballs and even sticks were thrown from the crowd ; and, 
as they pressed upon the soldiers, the latter pushed at them 
with their bayonets, and bade them "Stand off." 5 Finding 
the people still fractious, Captain Preston ordered his men to 
load and prime. They did so, and stood with their guns breast 
high and bayonets fixed. " You are not going to fire ? " que- 
ried several bystanders. " By no means," was the reply, 
" unless I am compelled to." " For God's sake," said Knox, 
grasping at Preston's coat, " take your men back again ; if 
they fire, your life must answer for the consequences." " I 
know what I am about," was the reply, while the agitation of 
his countenance belied his words. 6 

1 Testimony of Appleton, in Narr. Cunningham, Condon, Wyat, Head, 
&c. 52. Goddard, and Whiston, in Narr. &c. 

2 Testimony of Tant, Cain, Knox, 54, 62, 65, 66, 72, 77, 87, 89, and 
Payne, and Morton, in Narr. &c. 63, Wilkinson, in Trial, &c. 19. 

64, 73, 74, 78. 5 Testimony of Cain, Usher, God- 

3 Testimony of Cunningham, in dard, and Hickling, in Narr. &c. 65 f 
Trial, &c. 65. 86-88, and of Dodge, in Trial, &c. 9. 

4 Testimony of Polley, Hill, Cain, 6 Testimony of Palmes, "Wyat, 



When the soldiers had loaded, a party of ten or twelve, 
with sticks in their hands, gave three cheers, passed before 
1770. them, and struck at their muskets, saying, " You are cowardly 
rascals for bringing arms against naked men. Lay aside your 
guns, and we are ready for you." Others shouted, " Come on, 
you rascals ! you bloody backs ! you lobster scoundrels ! Fire, 
if you dare ! You dare not fire ! " 1 The boys, who had sticks 
in their hands, joined in the cry, and huzzaed, and whistled, and 
pelted the soldiers with snowballs. At length a stick was 
thrown, and at the same time one Burdick struck at the musket 
of Montgomery. A voice cried, " Fire ! " and, stepping a little 
aside, he discharged his gun. The shot took effect ; and Cris- 
pus Attucks, a negro, who had been active in the fray, fell. 2 
The order to " fire " was repeated ; and a voice — said to have 
been Preston's 3 — shouted, "Damn you, fire! be the conse- 
quence what it will." 4 " Don't fire," said Langford to Kilroi. 
one of the soldiers who had been worsted in the affray at the 
ropewalk : but he fired, and Samuel Gray fell. 5 Other guns 

Knox, Simpson, and Hickling, in 
Narr. &c. 71, 73, 81, 88, and of 
Brewer and Simpson, in Trial, &c. 
12, 20. 

1 Testimony of Tant and Green- 
wood, in Narr. &c. 64, 102, and of 
Bridgham, in Trial, &c. 7. There is 
a conflict of testimony on this point — 
some swearing positively that there 
was not the least provocation given to 
Preston or his soldiers, the backs of 
the people being towards them when 
they were attacked. See Testimony 
of Palmes, Frizel, &c. 

2 Testimony of Hinckley, in Narr. 
&c. 67, and of Bailey, Palmes, Dan- 
brooke, Bass, and Simpson, in Trial, 
&c. 14, 16, 17, 20. Burdick, in Tri- 
al, 8zc. 24, swears that he personally 
struck Montgomery, who was pushing 
at him with his gun. Crispus Attucks 
was the slave of William Brown, of 
that part of Sutton which is now Mill- 
bury. He was freed previous to 1770, 

and came to Boston, and let himself 
as a servant. Communication of 
Charles H. Morse, Cambridgeport, 
Mass., May 27, 1856. 

3 Testimony of Hobbv, Hooton, and 
Drowne, in Narr. &c 63, lo, 84. Pres- 
ton himself was often heard to assert, 
at a later period, that he never ordered 
the soldiers to fire, but, on the con- 
trary, did all he could to prevent their 
firing — even hazarding his own life in 
so doing. There was a great uproar at 
the time, so that it was difficult to tell 
from whom the order came. Com- 
munication of Caleb Bates, of Hing- 

4 Testimony of Wyat, Simpson, 
Wilson, and Goddard, in Trial, &c. 
72, 81, 82, 87, and of Wilkinson, in 
Narr. &c. 19. Hinckley says this 
voice came from an officer at a cham- 
ber window. Testimony in Narr. 
&c. 16. 

5 Boston Narr. 


were discharged ; and one of the soldiers deliberately aimed chap 
at a boy, who was running to get clear of the crowd. 1 In all, j^ 1 ^ 
three persons were killed, and eight were wounded. 2 Some 1770. 
say guns were fired from the custom house. 3 

King Street was speedily thronged with people, and more 
than a thousand were gathered together. 4 The soldiers were 
infuriated ; and, as some stooped to remove the dead, they pre- 
pared to fire again, but were checked by Preston. 5 The 
twenty-ninth regiment turned out in a body, as if bent on a 
further massacre ; and soldiers of the fourteenth, like dogs 
eager for their prey, cried, " This is our time ! " 6 Hutchinson, 
in the mean time, was informed of what was passing ; and, 
while the bells of all the churches were rung, and the town 
drums were beaten, the cry was raised, " To arms — to arms ! " 
" Our hearts," says Warren, " beat to arms — almost resolved 
by one stroke to avenge the death of our slaughtered breth- 
ren." 7 But calm and collected the patriots stood ; and the 
advice which they gave was worthy the men. His honor was 
requested to order the soldiers to withdraw to their barracks. 
" It is not in my power," was his reply. " It lies with Colonel 
Dalrymple, and not with me. I will send for him, however ; " 
and he did so. But this did not satisfy ; and his attention 
was called to the position of the soldiers, drawn up in platoons 
ready to fire. After " much persuasion," he called for Colonel 
Carr ; and the troops were ordered to shoulder their guns, and 
were marched to the barracks. 8 The body of the people then 

1 Testimony of Bridgham, in Trial, 4 Testimony of Palmes, in Narr 
&c. 8. &c. 71. 

2 Testimony of Langford, in Trial, 5 Preston's Narr. 

&c. 10. Most of the witnesses who 6 Testimony of Mary Gardner and 

testified at the trial say there were but "William Fallass, in Narr. &c. 96. 

six or seven shots fired. Comp. Boston Gazette for Dec. 31, 

3 Several affirmed that two or three 1770. 

shots were fired from the windows of 7 Oration of March 5, 1772, in Lib. 

the custom house. Testimony of Char- Mass. Hist. Soc. ; Bancroft, vi. 340. 
lotte Bourgate, Gillam Bass, Benjamin 8 Testimony of Palmes, Pierce, and 

Frizel, Jeremiah Allen, George Costar, Dorr, in Narr. &c. 7 1, 93, 94 ; Hutch- 

and Samuel Drowne, in Narr. &c. 75, inson, iii. 273. 
76, 79, 80, 83, 84. 



chap, retired, leaving about a hundred to keep watch on the exami 


^^__ nation, which was immediately commenced, and continued until 
1770. after midnight. 1 As the result, a warrant was issued for the 
arrest of Preston, and the soldiers whom he had called out 
were committed to prison. 2 

Mar. 6. Early the next morning the selectmen of the town and the 
justices of the county waited upon Hutchinson at the council 
chamber, and assured him that a meeting of the inhabitants 
would shortly be held, and that nothing would satisfy them but 
positive orders for the removal of the troops. Quincy, of 
Braintree, especially warned him of the " terrible conse- 
quences " which a refusal might provoke ; but his honor re- 
plied, " I have no power to remove the troops, nor to direct 
where they shall be placed." He consented, however, to send 
for Dalrymple and Carr, the commanding officers, for their 
advice ; and they attended the Council, where the question was 
" largely discussed." 3 

An hour before noon the town meeting convened, and was 
opened by prayer from the eloquent Cooper. A committee of 
fifteen, with Samuel Adams at their head, was appointed to 
proceed to the council chamber, and, in the name of the town, 
demand the removal of the troops. "It is our unanimous 
opinion " — such was their message — " that the inhabitants 
and soldiery can no longer live together in safety ; that noth- 
ing can rationally be expected to restore peace, and prevent 
blood and carnage, but the immediate removal of the troops ; 
and we most fervently pray that your power and influence may 
be exerted for their instant removal." 4 The reply of Hutch- 
inson, after some parley, was much as before. He expressed 
regret at the " unhappy differences " which had arisen between 

1 Hutchinson to Gage, March 6, 3 Postscript to Mass. Gazette for 
and to Bernard, March 12, 1770; March 8, 1770; Hutchinson, iii. 273, 
Preston's Narr. ; Bancroft, vi. 341. 274. 

2 Dalrymple's Narr. of the late 4 Boston News Letter for March 
Transactions in Boston; Hutchinson, 15, 1770. 

iii. 273. 


" the inhabitants and the troops," but added, " I have consulted chap. 
with the commanding officers. They have their orders from J^J^ 
the general, at New York. It is not in my power to counter- 1770. 
mand those orders. The Council have desired the regiments 
to be removed ; and Colonel Dalrymple has signified to me 
that the regiment of which he has the command shall, without 
delay, be placed in the barracks at the Castle, until he can 
send to the general and receive his orders for both regiments. 
The main guard, he also assures me, shall be removed ; and 
the fourteenth regiment shall be laid under such restraint that 
all occasion of future disturbances may be prevented." x 

The reply of his honor was brought before the adjourned 
meeting in the afternoon, which, from the greatness of the 
crowd, was held in the Old South Meeting House, instead of 
in Faneuil Hall. " Make way for the committee," was the 
shout of the multitude, that thronged the street from the State 
House to the church, as Samuel Adams and his associates made 
their appearance. They were ushered into the house, which 
was crowded in every part ; their report was read ; and dis- 
satisfaction was painted on every face. A new committee was 
forthwith chosen, consisting of seven persons, who bore to the 
chief magistrate their final message. They found him in the 
council chamber, surrounded by the Council and by the highest 
officers of the army and of the navy. Samuel Adams acted as 
prolocutor, and, in the name of the town, renewed the demand 
for the removal of the troops — declaring that it was the 
irrevocable determination of the meeting, which consisted of 
nearly three thousand persons, to insist upon the withdrawal 
of all the forces, and that they would be satisfied with nothing 
short of an immediate compliance. " The troops are not 
subject to my authority ; I have no power to remove them," 
was the reply. Adams, upon this, drew up to his full 
height ; and, while his " frame trembled at the energy of his 

1 Boston News Letter for March 15, 1770. 
VOL. II. 27 


chap, soul," 1 he stretched forth his hand, "as if upheld by the 
^^^ strength of thousands," and in a dignified and resolute tone 
1770. rejoined, " If you have power to remove one regiment, you 
have power to remove both. It is at your peril, if you refuse. 
The meeting is impatient. The country is in motion. Night 
is approaching ; and your answer is expected." 2 The officers 
were abashed in the presence of the patriot, and " the air was 
filled with the breathings of compressed indignation." Yet 
his gaze was steadfastly riveted upon the chief magistrate. 
Hutchinson trembled, and his face grew pale. 3 His mind 
reverted to events which had occurred on the same spot in 
former days, when Andros, the arbitrary minion of James, was 
seized and imprisoned, and the people, in their majesty, assert- 
ed their rights. 4 " It is not such a people as formerly pulled 
down your house who conduct the present measures," was re- 
marked by Tyler, one of the Council. " They are people of 
the best characters among us — men of estates, men of religion. 
Their plans are matured, and it is useless to resist them. The 
people will come in from the neighboring towns ; and there 
will be ten thousand men to eifect the removal of the troops, 
be the consequence what it may." 5 

Dalrymple, who stood by, repeated the assurance that it was 
" impossible to go any further lengths in this matter," and that 
the information which had been given of the intended rebellion 
was a sufficient reason against the removal of his majesty's 
forces. 6 But Gray remarked to the lieutenant governor, " You 
have asked the advice of the Council; they have given it 
unanimously, and you are bound to conform to it." " Besides," 
added Irving, " if mischief should come by means of your not 

1 John Adams to Jedediah Morse, 3 S. Adams to James Wan-en, 
and to Judge Tudor. Gordon, Am. March 25, 1771. 

Rev. i. 192, 2d ed., says Adams was 4 Hutchinson to Hillsborough, 

" trembling under a nervous com- March 12, 1770. 

plaint." 5 Gordon's Am. Rev. i. 192. 

2 Hutchinson to Bernard, March 18, 6 Dalrymple's Narr. in Bancroft, 
1770. vi. 346. 


joining with us, the whole blame must fall upon you ; but if chap. 
you join with us, and the commanding officer, after that, should w _ v _^ 
refuse to remove the troops, the blame will then be at his 1770. 
door." * For some time Hutchinson stood irresolute. Oliver, 
at length, whispered in his ear, " You must either comply, or 
determine to leave the province ; " prudence constrained him 
to yield ; he signified his readiness to adopt the advice of the 
Council, and Dalrymple assured him that his commands should 
be obeyed. The committee, having received his decision, has- 
tened to communicate it to the waiting assembly ; the people 
listened with the highest satisfaction ; and the meeting broke 
up, after taking the precaution to provide for the appointment 
of a strong military watch until the regiments should leave 
the town. 2 

The funeral of the slain was attended with great ceremony. Mar. 8. 
Many of the shops in Boston were shut ; and the bells of that 
town, and of Charlestown, Cambridge, and Roxbury were sol- 
emnly tolled. Attucks, the mulatto, and Caldwell, who was a 
stranger, were borne from Faneuil Hall ; Maverick from the 
house of his mother, in Union Street ; and Gray from his 
brother's, in Royal Exchange Lane. The procession was of 
great length ; and, after the four hearses had joined in King 
Street, near the scene of the tragedy, it marched in columns 
of six deep through the main street to the middle burial 
ground, where the four victims were deposited in one grave. 
The aggravated circumstances attending their death, the pres- 
ence of the soldiers, who had not yet removed, and the distress 
and sorrow of relatives and friends, — all conspired to invest 
the scene with a peculiar solemnity. 3 It was a mournful day 
to the people of Boston. They well knew that exaggerated 
narratives of the affair would be published, and that no pains 
would be spared to insist upon harsher measures, and to justify 

1 Oliver's Nare. in Bancroft, vi. 346. 3 Boston Post Boy for March 12, 
z Boston Narr. ; Gordon's Am. 1770 ; Boston Gazette for March 15, 
Rev. i. 192. 1770. 


chap, high-handed attempts to enslave them. Yet, withal, there was 

J^i^ a feeling in the breast of every one that, come what would, the 
1770. province must on no account recede from its position. 
Oct. The trial of Preston was held in October ; every indulgence 
was shown him by the citizens, and he was soon acquitted. 1 

Nov.27. The trial of the soldiers took place in November, and they 
were ably defended by Josiah Quincy and John Adams. Six 
of the accused were brought in " not guilty ; " two, Kilroi and 
Montgomery, were declared "guilty of manslaughter," but, 
praying the " benefit of clergy," they were " each of them burnt 
in the hand, in open court, and discharged." 2 Four others, 
who were charged by the grand jury with being present and 

^ec. 12. abetting, were tried in December ; but the jury acquitted them 
without leaving their seats. 3 For several years, on the anni- 
versary of the massacre, orations were delivered by prominent 
citizens ; but, after the war of the revolution had ended, the 
observance ceased to engross attention, and the natal day of 
the freedom of the country was preferred as the time for a 
public address. 4 

In reviewing the circumstances attending this " massacre," 
it will, perhaps, be acknowledged by the candid and thoughtful 
that there was blame on the part of the citizens of Boston as 
well as on the part of the soldiers of the king. Both the 
troops and the populace were highly excited. For a long time 
there had been grudges and collisions between them. In more 

1 Bancroft, vi. 373 ; Snow's Boston, 4 For particulars relative to the ora- 
284, 285. tions on the 5th of March, see Loring's 

2 Trial, &c. 120 ; Hutchinson to Hundred Boston Orators. A number 
Bernard, Dec. 6 and 10, 1770. The of these orations are preserved in the 
names of the prisoners were William archives of the Mass. Hist. Soc, in the 
Weems, James Hartegan, William Boston Athenaeum, the Library of 
M'Cauley, Hugh White, William Harvard College, and other public in- 
Warren, John Carroll, Matthew Kil- stitutions. The earliest orators were 
roi, and Hugh Montgomery. Thomas Young, James Lovell, Joseph 

3 Trial, &c. 120. The names of Warren, Benjamin Church, and John 
these four were Edward Manwaring, Hancock. 

John Munro, Hammond Green, and 
Thomas Greenwood. 


than one instance they had resorted to blows. And the trage- chap. 
dy of the fifth was the natural result. On which side there J|^L 
was most blame it may be difficult to decide. Among the 1770. 
citizens the opinion prevailed that the soldiers could not fire 
without the order of the civil magistrate ; and this, doubtless, 
emboldened them to persist in their insults. The soldiers, 
governed by a different rule, looked to their own officers for 
the word of command. In the uproar which prevailed, it may 
have been difficult to distinguish from what quarter the order 
to fire came ; and, smarting under provocations and eager for 
revenge, the soldiers may not have been over-scrupulous in 
assuring themselves that they acted under proper authority, 
and may have availed themselves of the confusion and uncer- 
tainty of the occasion to redress their own wrongs, trusting to 
the influence of their superiors to clear them, should their con- 
duct be blamed. We should not too harshly judge Captain 
Preston. It is not certain that the order to fire proceeded 
from him. The evidence against him was not conclusive, and 
he personally denied having given such orders. The outbreak 
was one which will ever be lamented. Yet back of the in- 
cidents attending the tragedy there still lies the fact that the 
presence of the soldiery was the cause of the strife ; and if 
responsibility rests any where, it must rest upon those who sent 
them here, and, more than all, upon those who clamored for 
having them sent. Hillsborough and Bernard were the culpa- 
ble parties — the latter the more so, as it was at his instigation 
that the troops were quartered in Boston ; and the former, as 
the executive minister of the king, should be blamed for listen- 
ing to his insidious proposals. 



The fifth of March, 1770, was doubly memorable in the 
annals of New England — memorable as the day of the " mas- 
1770. sacre " in Boston, and memorable as the day on which, in the 
Parliament of Great Britain, the " American question " was 
again under debate. A " petition from the merchants and tra- 
ders of London trading to North America " was presented in 
the House of Commons, setting forth the " alarming state of 
suspense " into which commerce had fallen, and that this " in- 
terruption of trade," in the apprehension of the petitioners, was 
"principally owing to certain duties imposed on tea, paper, 
glass, and painters' colors imported into the colonies." They 
" therefore presumed to lay the distressed situation of this 
trade before the House, and, for the recovery of so important 
a branch of commerce, to pray for such relief as to the House 
shall seem meet." * Lord North, who had been recently ap- 
pointed first lord of the treasury, 2 moved the reading of the act 
to which the petitioners referred ; and, after it had been read, 
he observed that the act thus petitioned against had been " the 
occasion of most dangerous, violent, and illegal combinations 
in America ; " yet as " many of the articles contained in the 
tax " it was " absurd to have imposed a duty upon," for " these 
commercial reasons " it was " necessary to move the repeal of 
such duty." 

1 Debates in Pari. v. 253. and Lord North took his place. Bel- 

2 The resignation of the Duke of sham, i. 266. 
Grafton occurred January 28, 1770, 



"He had favored," he added, " with the rest of the ministry, chap. 
at the end of the last sessions, the circular letter to the govern- 35^ 
ors of the colonies, promising to repeal, on certain commercial 1770. 
principles, that part of the law which was repugnant to them ; 
that he did this as a persuasive to bring them back to their 
duty, by a measure which would not at the same time relax the 
reins of government over them ; and he could have wished to 
have repealed the whole, if it could have been done without 
giving up such absolute right. But he was sorry to say that 
the behavior of the Americans had by no means been such as 
to merit this favor, their resolutions being more violent this 
summer than ever ; neither did he think a total repeal would 
by any means quell the troubles there ; as experience had 
shown that to lay taxes when America was quiet, and repeal 
them when America was in flames, only added fresh claims to 
those people on every occasion ; and now, as they totally de- 
nied the power of Great Britain to tax them, it became more 
absolutely necessary to compel the observance of the laws, to 
vindicate the rights of Parliament." On these grounds he would 
not move an absolute repeal of the act, but only that " leave 
be given to bring in a bill to repeal the tax act as far as relat- 
ed to the tax on paper, glass, and painters' colors." l 

The speech of Pownall was an elaborate defence of the peti- 
tion ; and at its close he moved, as an amendment, a clause 
including tea with the articles enumerated. 2 " I do not," said 
he, " argue this repeal as asking a favor for the Americans ; 
they do not now ask the repeal as a favor. Nor do I move in 
this matter as seeking redress of a grievance complained of by 
them ; they have not complained to Parliament, nor do they 
come for redress. Although they feel deeply, they suffer and 
endure with a determined and alarming silence. They are 

1 Debates in Pari. v. 253-255 ; ferent from the above, and an abstract 

Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 265 ; of the same is given in Bancroft, vL 

Boston News Letter for April 26, 351, 352. 

1770. The report of Johnson, the 2 Debates in Pari. v. 255-268 ; Bos- 
agent of Connecticut, is somewhat dif- ton News Letter for April 26, 1770 


chap, under no apprehension for their liberty. They remember that 
it was planted under the auspicious genius of this constitution ; 
it hath taken root, and they have seen it grow up, under the 
divine blessing, to a fair and blooming tree. And should any 
severe strokes of fate again and again prune it down to the 
bare stock, it would only strike the deeper and the stronger. 
It would not, perhaps, rise in so straight and fair a form ; but 
it would prove the more hardy and durable. They trust, there- 
fore, to Providence ; nor will they complain." 

Grenville followed ; and, after lauding the stamp act, his 
own favorite measure, and censuring the subsequent policy of 
the ministry, declared his intention to remain neutral in the 
present controversy, and " not vote in the question.' 7 1 Conway 
expressed his " concurrence in repealing the whole of the pres- 
ent act ; " 2 and Sir William Meredith declared the tax " ought 
to be repealed totally." 3 Barrington and Ellis opposed both 
the amendment and the original motion ; but the uncompromis- 
ing Barre " was for the whole repeal." The act was unjust in 
every sense of the word, and as impolitic as unjust ; and too 
soon the ministry could not retrace their steps, if they wished 
to restore peace to the kingdom. 4 When the question was 
taken, however, upon the amendment of Pownall, it was reject- 
ed by a vote of two hundred and four against one hundred and 
forty-two ; and the repeal was lost, so far as the article of tea 
was concerned, though carried on the other points. 5 

The General Court of Massachusetts had been prorogued 
by Bernard to the tenth of January ; but before that day 
arrived, a " further signification of the king's pleasure " was 
received by Hutchinson, that the court "should be held at 
Cambridge, unless the lieutenant governor had more weighty 

1 Debates in Pari. v. 268, 269 ; 3 Debates in Pari. v. 269. 
Boston News Letter for April 26, 4 Debates in Pari. v. 269. Comp 
1770. Comp. Du Chatelet to Choi- Lord Mahon's Hist. Eng. v. 266, 267. 
seul, Feb. 27, 1770, in Bancroft, vi. 5 Debates in Pari. v. 270 ; Boston 
353 ; Franklin's Works, vii. 466. News Letter for April 26, 1770. 

2 Debates in Pari. v. 269. 


reasons for holding it at Boston ; " and, considering the " in- chap. 
struction tantamount to a peremptory order," contrary to his ^J^, 
own judgment, as he afterwards affirmed, 1 he convened the 1770. 
legislature at Cambridge. 2 This step was displeasing to the Mar. 15. 
House ; and a remonstrance was prepared against the proroga- Mar. 16. 
tion of the assembly by the " mandate " of the minister as " an 
infraction of their essential rights as men and citizens, as well 
as those derived from the British constitution and the charter 
of the colony," and praying that the assembly should be ad- 
journed "to its ancient place, the court house in Boston." 3 . 
But his honor, in reply, stood upon his reserved rights as com- 
mander-in-chief, and declared his determination not to depart 
from his duty to the king. 4 For some days the controversy Mar. 16 
was continued ; the Council joined with the House in petition- 
ing for the removal of the court ; and the House, by a verbal 
message, desired of his honor a copy of his instructions from 
the king, and drew up a memorial, based upon the act of 10 
William III., authorizing the General Court or Assembly to 
be held " at the town house in Boston, 11 as a warrant for their 
petition ; but all was to no purpose. Hutchinson was inflexi- 
ble, and the session of the court was continued at Cambridge. 
" We proceed to business under this grievance," the House 
then resolved, " only from absolute necessity — hereby protest- 
ing against the illegality of holding the assembly as aforesaid, 
and ordering this our protest to be entered on our journals, to 
the end that the same may not be drawn into precedent at any 
time hereafter." 5 

1 Hutchinson to Gage, Feb. 25, 4 Jour. H. of R. for 1769-70, 92 ; 
1770. Corap. the first draught of his Hutchinson, iii. 282. 

letter to Hillsborough, of Feb. 28, 5 Jour. H. of R. for 1769-70, 92- 

1770, in Almon's Remembrancer for 103 ; Hutchinson, iii. 282, 283 ; Brad- 

1775, 44. ford, i. 212 ; Boston News Letter Ex- 

2 Hutchinson to Hillsborough, Feb. tra for March 23, 1770, and News 
28, 1770, and Hist. iii. 280, 281 ; Al- Letter for March 29, 1770. " The 
mon's Remembrancer for 1775, 44, court," wrote Hutchinson, March 25, 
45. 1770, " has been sitting at Cambridge 

3 Jour. H. of R. for 1769-70, 91 ; ever since the 15th, refusing to do 
Hutchinson, iii. 28 J. any business, and urging me to re- 


Under such duress, the temper of the House was by no 
means softened to a conciliatory tone. Yet one more atte